The scandal at Wells Fargo over the creation of unauthorized
accounts shook its customers’ faith in the bank, but it took
an even sharper toll on the company’s workers. A number of
them say they faced a stark choice: Create new accounts by any
means possible, or risk being fired for falling short of their
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
This immediately reduced my anxiety. From that point, I began
drinking the hand sanitizer all over the bank.