Humour in the Banking Profession

Humor may be defined as anything said or which amuses a cause’s laughter. Humor arises from contrast- contrast between what we expect things to be and what they actually are, contrast between the words and actions of some particular person etc. It also jokes, jests, repartees, retorts, etc. It may also arise from some person’s wrong use of words. Mrs. Malapropos in the famous drama. The Rivals of the well-known English dramatist Richard Sheridan, habitually uses words wrongly and so gives rise to much hilarious laughter.

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The banking profession offers ample scope for every type of humor. The behavior, appearance, and manner of taking of the various bank employees are perennial source of humor. One of the clerks may be uncommonly fat and may move about only with difficulty. Even last exertion may make him breathless and cause him to perspire profusely. The very appearance of such a person gives rise to loud laughter. All are very much amused as they see him moving with difficulty from one seat to another. The amusement of his fellow workers may be imagined than described, when he has to climb a stair, even a small one, and the exertion is too much for him. The amusement of then bank staff knows no bounds when such a person happens to be the Manager of the bank.

Then there may be another employee who comes to bank dressed in an eccentric manner. He may come in a shirt and trouser of a loud color. If his dress multicolored it reminds one of the fools of Shakespeare and becomes a source of much amusement. Oddity in dress assumes different forms; it is the most common source of humor in the banking profession, as well as in other spheres of life. Jokes


And jests retorts and repartees are also frequent and they keep the staff in good humor and lighten the burden of work which is often too heavy. Wit and humor flow on as an undercurrent as the staff continues to work hour after hour. This kind of humor keeps off dullness and lethargy and is the proverbial grain of salt which makes this onerous profession palatable.

Mistakes committed by the staff are also a frequent source of humor. Usually, there is one or the other employee who pronounces even common word wrongly or uses high sounding bombastic words without correctly understanding their meanings. Such wrong use of words also is quite frequent. Another frequent source of humor is the ignorance even of elementary rules and regulations of the bank. Such ignorance result in altercation and heated exchanges between a member of the staff and a constituent of the bank, and this causes much amusement to other employees. They cannot simply help laughing at the folly of their erring colleague. At other time amusement is provide by the inefficiency of the other cashier who keeps counting the notes, thus causing much annoyance to the people waiting for payment. They grumble and complain but the cashier keeps counting till the correct amount is paid.

Every type of oddity and eccentricity is also frequent in the people who come to the bank for one or other banking transaction. They may be oddly dressed or their way of doing things may be quite eccentric and whimsical. The present author witnessed a very humorous incident only recently. A gentleman came to the bank in a state of acute nervousness and excitement. He whispered into the ears of the dealing clerk that he wanted to see the Manager of the bank on some important matter. The clerk thought that he might be some V.I.P or an Income Tax Officer, someone who had been deputed to investigate a case of fraud in the bank. So, he was treated with extreme politeness and conducted to the room of the Manager. All waited tense with suspense. A few minutes later the Manager came out with the gentleman and loudly told the dealing clerk that he wanted to open a Saving Bank account with fifty rupees. All ware very much amused at his queer behavior. They had all along thought that he had come on some affair of considerable importance and now it had turned out to be a very pretty routine affair. The gentleman in a state of great nervous excitement filled in the requisite Performa and along with the money gave it to the clerk concerned. The account was duly opened. But his nervousness was so acute, that the very next moment he withdrew the whole amount and had the account closed. He left the bank leaving all present roaring with laughter.

In short, the banking profession too has its lighter side. There are frequent flashes of humor which enliven the drudgery and dreariness of the profession.

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