'Customers were going crazy at the counters and the four staff members had to manage them all with care.'
'I'm praying it doesn't take a toll on her health.'
In the wake of demonetisation, we've read stories of harried customers who are running pillar to post exchanging Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and trying to withdraw cash from ATMs.
But what about the families of employees working at banks and post offices?
A Durga (name changed) tells us about her mother who works in a post office in southern Tamil Nadu.
The night of November 8 was the last time Durga spoke at length with her mother, who lives in Kanyakumari.
Durga lives and works in Mumbai and meets her mother twice a year but not once in the last three years has her mother not spoken to her at lunch hour.
That family dynamic has changed after demonetisation.
"My mom works in a post office in Kanyakumari.
Her office timings are between 8 am and 5 pm.
After demonetisation, her office timings have changed.
She now works between 8 am and 8 pm. Twelve hours a day!
"On the night of Day One, my tired mother told me they had not received the money on time to distribute to people.
Since Kanyakumari is a tourist spot, she said a lot of tourists had requested change for at least Rs 500 so that they could manage the food and travel expenses of the day.
Finally when the money came, it was just Rs 265,000, which was much less than what they had requested for -- Rs 1,000,000.
Customers were going crazy at the counters and the four staff members had to manage them all with care.
My mother went to work on Sunday too. And Monday, despite it being a holiday on account of Guru Nanak Jayanti, my mother went to work.
On Monday, they received Rs 10 lakh and by 2 pm, Rs 6 lakhs were exchanged only for tourists. The locals were asked to deposit the money.
Despite the heavy workload and requests from customers, my mother and her colleagues are not complaining.
They are working with lesser breaks and I'm praying it doesn't take a toll on her health.
I hope all this gets sorted quickly because I really miss talking to my mother.
Lead image published only for representational purposes. Photograph: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters