robin, how i met your mother, stressed, depressed, woman drinking, alcohol, under desk

Stressed? You’ve got nothing on hand sanitiser woman

How stressed are you at work? We only ask because a woman recently told the New York Times that she became so panicked working at a bank that she started downing hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser.

Pause. Obviously you are not that stressed. But…

This is the story of Angie Payden, a banker in Hudson, Wisconsin, as reported in The Science of Us:

“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 sanitiser. 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.” 

For your information and for context, a bottle of hand sanitiser has about five shots of alcohol in it.

The pressure for Payden was selling unnecesssary products to customers. A PPI-kind of thing – all those PPI calls certainly have us reaching for the hand sanitiser. She felt lonely, isolated and unsupported at the bank (Wells Fargo, by the way).

So here are some other solutions to office stress before you head for the HypaClean:

  1. Find a tribe: According to research, the single biggest key to surviving the office jungle is a group of like-minded individuals who will support you and drink actual shots with you if necessary. Think of the amplification genius of the Obama staffers at the beginning of his presidency. The key is connection (you can also find it on The Midult).
  2. Learn to say no: No means no. As in ‘No I won’t do that’. Practice in front of the mirror. While you are there, practice asking for a pay rise.
  3. Go on holiday: No one will thank you for staying in the office for all the hours/days/months, just as they won’t thank you for drinking all the hand sanitiser.
  4. Take off your shoes: Copy the Finnish gaming company Supercell, which asks its employees to remove their shoes before coming into the office. Apparently it’s relaxing and productive. It turns out that at Supercell each employee is worth at least $5 million.  *takes shoes off immediately*
  5. Browse the net for cute animal pictures: Like this one.
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