Sales pressure drove Wells Fargo banker to drink hand sanitizer

Wells Fargo has fired its CEO allowed its CEO to retire, Minnesota native John Stumpf. It’s taken out full-page ads to assure its customers it’s not the ethically-challenged institution the facts suggest it is. It’s changed its procedures to ensure that customers are no longer getting signed up for unauthorized bank products that the bank pressured the employees to foist on the unsuspecting patrons.

The only thing the bank hasn’t done is made things right for any of its working stiffs who were also victims as scapegoats while the company execs tried to keep the scandal from claiming themselves.

Today, the New York Times gives them a voice.

One of them is Angie Payden, of Hudson, Wis., who worked for Wells Fargo from 2011 to 2014.

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 sanitizer.

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 sanitizer all over the bank.

In late November 2012, I was completely addicted to hand sanitizer and drinking at least a bottle a day during my workday. In December, I was confronted by management about my behavior. I decided to seek treatment and went on leave.

The recent news stories have reactivated my memories and P.T.S.D. I am now having nightmares and flashbacks of that time period. It is horrible.

“We had customers of all ages, but the elderly ones would at times be targeted, because they don’t ask many questions about fees and such,” another former employer, Brandi Baker, who worked at a branch in Galesburg, Ill., said in an interview with the Times.

Wells Fargo said it couldn’t comment on individual “team members” involved in the scandal.

The U.S. Senate isn’t finished with Wells Fargo execs, even though Stumpf “retired,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

In a letter to the firm yesterday, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., asked Wells Fargo’s board of directors how they decided that another company exec, Timothy Sloan, was fit to replace Stumpf.

“It is difficult to believe that he had no knowledge of or bears no responsibility for the actions of thousands of Wells Fargo employees creating fake accounts under his and other top executives’ watch,” Warren and Menendez wrote.