U.S. Banker Was So Stressed She Developed A Hand Sanitiser Addiction

Here’s a weird yarn for your Friday while you’re bumming away the rest of the day ’til you can clock off.

The New York Times is running a story about the scandal at American bank Wells Fargo over the creation of unauthorised accounts, from the perspective of employees it affected. It shook the company, but as the Times reports, the demands of everyday bank tellers to “create new accounts by any means possible, or risk being fired for falling short of their sales goals”.

It’s a pretty harrowing account of the effect of stress on the average employees being coerced to work harder to fulfil arbitrary goals:
I believe my daily product sales goal was six a day. It didn’t matter if you had 20 products one day, you still had to meet your goal every other day. A seasoned banker taught me to put fake appointments on your calendar, and then have them “cancel and rebook” for another day.

I was once scolded for not selling an elderly lady a credit card by telling her that she could use it as a form of ID if she went to a teller who didn’t know her. Even if a customer didn’t want access to online banking, we were taught to force them into it. If they didn’t have an email to use for online banking, make one up. Once they logged into online banking for the first time, you made a sale.

But one of these employee stories really, uh, amplifies things:

I started to have extreme physical stress-related symptoms as well as random panic attacks. At some point during that summer, the stress was so intense that I could no longer handle the pressure. On the banker’s desk, in the bathroom, behind the teller line and in the vault, the store kept bottles of hand sanitiser.

One morning, before meeting with a customer, in which I knew I was going to have to sell unneeded services, I had a severe panic attack. I went to the bathroom and took a drink of some hand sanitizer. This immediately reduced my anxiety. From that point, I began drinking the hand sanitiser all over the bank.

In late November 2012, I was completely addicted to hand sanitiser and drinking at least a bottle a day during my workday.

Wowee. The entire story is pretty intense, but that kinda takes it into My Strange Addiction territory. Other employees reported extreme stress responses like nausea, panic attacks, and even a case of shingles. Read the full article HERE.

Source: New York Times.
Photo: Getty Images.