NEW DELHI

Going is getting tougher: bank staff

Graveyard shift:People queue up to withdraw cash at an ATM on Parliament Street around midnighton Saturday.Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Graveyard shift:People queue up to withdraw cash at an ATM on Parliament Street around midnighton Saturday.Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

Employees rue lack of helping hands, cancelled leave, unruly customers

They weren’t standing in serpentine queues but the average bank employee is just as much, if not more, inconvenienced as the customer. From complaints about the number of staff being inadequate to deal with the rush to leaves being cancelled – bank staff admitted, off the record, that the going was getting tough.

‘Working like machines’

“We have been working like machines. Not only was our second Saturday holiday cancelled, we will be working Sunday too,” complained a staff member at a prominent public bank’s branch in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.

“You go to any branch and you will see complete lack of crowd management simply because there isn’t enough deployment of bank personnel, including senior officials. Despite the management’s best efforts; the number of people is too much to handle,” said the senior manager of a private bank branch in Noida’s Sector 18.

Many ATMs, which reopened four days after the Prime Minister announced the demonetisation, ran out of cash in a few hours, leaving people frustrated and adding to apprehensions of violent backlashes from visitors.

Scuffles among customers were reported at some locations after ATMs ran dry.

“Policemen have been deployed outside banks, but not inside. I’ve personally been verbally abused by at least six customers who forgot to carry photo IDs, or when it was pointed out that they had not filled the exchange form correctly,” said another employee.

“Crowd management is the biggest challenge. Customers don’t listen to requests of standing in queues and waiting. Some demand currency notes only in denominations of Rs. 100 and won’t accept the new Rs. 2,000 notes,” the employee added. According to a guard at a bank in central Delhi, leaves had been cancelled and others like him are being made to work overtime even as the management refused to clear arrears. “When we ask the agency which employs us for our salary, we are told to ask the bank. The bank management claims to have disbursed our salary. There’s chaos outside and inside,” he complained.



Crowd management is the biggest challenge. Some customers don’t listen to our requests



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