One of Stephen Leacock's best known stories is My Financial Career. It's about one ordinary man's encounter with the mysteries and hazards of banking. After my experiences of the last few days, I appreciate the story even more than I did when I first heard it on CBC radio.
I am acting on behalf of a sick friend and I have all the documentation the government says is sufficient. Nevertheless, almost every one of the big five banks wanted one of their own Power of Attorney forms signed and witnessed. Fortuately, I was able to prevail, thanks to my ability to conceal anxiety and present a stern school marm face. My passport has now been in more banks than countries. Also, I have so much paper that I will have to acquire another file box or three.
Now I understand why my friend had so many uncashed cheques in his apartment. It's a wonder he didn't keep them in a sock, like Leacock's protagonist did. My friend did the next best thing though, he put his money in accounts that earn almost no interest.
I've considered writing an article about how each bank has responded, complete with ratings, but I doubt any newspaper would want to publish it, because I would have to use a nom de plume. In any event, I have no time to write it because the next fearsome task looms.
Usually, I read for a while before I go to sleep but lately I've been conking out after three pages instead of twenty or thirty pages. I'm part way through Late Nights On Air by Elizabeth Hay and for me, one of the best things about the book is all the references to CBC radio - the old announcers and the programs I listened to when I was young. I need to finish the book before it is due back at the library because a neighbour took it out on her card and lent it to me after she read it. I might stay up late tonight and finish the book, since my weekend dance card is filled and next week I return to Toronto. But, before I do, maybe I'll buy more socks.