Till now, we only have been thinking about the impact of demonetisation on the common man. But the situation at the other end is also quite grave. Long working hours, endless dealings in cash and angry customers are giving a tough time to cashiers, with many of them falling sick. Bank staff are being forced to work extra daily to cater to the rush.

Overtime stress
A cashier from the South Mumbai branch of a nationalised bank said, “In the new scheme of things, a cashier, who is supposed to handle one customer at a time is being forced to handle multiple. Sometimes, we even have to look at cash withdrawals, exchange and deposits simultaneously. The other day, a customer gave a few bundles of old notes. They were so old, dusty and soiled that I started sneezing. It eventually escalated to cold and fever. Despite having machines, we still have to double-check to detect fake notes. If we are not able to, we have to pay from our own pocket. The overtime is affecting our health.”

A health hazard
Another cashier of a different branch of the same bank said, “Work pressure forces us to delay our breakfast and lunch. Also, sitting on the office chair for long hours is leading to backache and posture problems.”

An assistant manager of a bank said, “We always keep hand sanitisers with us as many customers get old notes. I’m suffering from respiratory problems due to soiled notes. I have even kept a mask with me.”

The situation at private banks is no different. An executive said, “We have to be very careful with every transaction. Many people have taken leave due to stress.”