Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In “My Financial Career,” Stephen Leacock presents a person’s (possibly) first experience with banking. The narrator has just had a salary increase and would like to open a bank account for this amount. Even before walking into the bank, the narrator explains his displeasure at the whole “banking”...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In “My Financial Career,” Stephen Leacock presents a person’s (possibly) first experience with banking. The narrator has just had a salary increase and would like to open a bank account for this amount. Even before walking into the bank, the narrator explains his displeasure at the whole “banking” business. He says that “the moment I go through the door of a bank and attempt to do business there, I become an irresponsible fool. I knew this before I went in.” It appears that the banking environment unnerves him. Indeed, in the opening statement of the story, the narrator remarks, “When I go into a bank I get nervous. The clerks make me nervous; the little windows at the counters make me nervous; the sight of the money makes me nervous; everything makes me nervous.”

The narrator walks into the bank and inquires from the person behind the counter labeled “Accountant” whether he could see the bank manager in private. He does not know the procedure to be followed by a person interested in opening an account and only guesses that such a person should consult the manager. The manager, on the other hand, knows these procedures and concludes that either the customer has a very large sum of money to deposit or is a detective in order for him to want to see the bank manager in private. When he explains his business to the manager, he is shown out to the accountant, who is advised to help him with his account-opening business. However, because he is totally confused and embarrassed at his awkward behavior, the narrator mistakenly writes a check to withdraw the whole fifty-six dollars that he has just deposited. When the assisting clerk draws this to his attention, the narrator’s anxiety worsens and he decides to withdraw all the money out of the new account to the astonishment of the clerks. The narrator exits the bank leaving behind him a clearly amused group of bank employees.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team