Wednesday, April 19

Take stock

Tuesdays. A couple of Tuesdays each month, I get up abnormally early. This week it was 5 am. Last week was even earlier, 3am.

I do this so I can go into my store and count the stuff inside it. In a normal business, you would do this maybe once or twice a year. In our business, target as it is for thieves and the like, it gets done 28 times a year. So here's what's involved:

It's 5am, or whatever. I pile into my car, half asleep, and drive as fast as I can to the nearest 24 hour Tim Hortons, whereupon I purchase an extra large double double. For those who have never had the pleasure, this is a coffee roughly the size of a regular McDonalds coke. It contains by my estimation 5 tablespoons of sugar and about a quarter cup of cream. I also get a bagel, toasted, with butter and cheddar cheese. This will be my entire sustaining nutrition until about one o'clock, when I can finally break for lunch. Then I go pick up whoever is helping me count that week. Then it's off to the store, arriving at about 6am in most cases.

Once inside, the fun begins. I go merrily around my store and count everything inside it, recording it dutifully, bar code by bar code, on a little hand held scanner type thingy. This is especially fun when you are counting something like ice cream bars or packs of trading cards. Some people, when they operate this thing, actually develop a repetitive strain type pain in their hand. I have been lucky so far, no pain, no particular discomfort. After about 2.5 straight hours of counting everything, we are done. Then I remember all the stuff I forgot to count, stuff put away in drawers, in my office, etc. Then once that stuff is all counted, I can transfer the results from the little handheld thingys into the big bad mainframe thingy.

Unless there's a problem. Which at the stage at which you are transferring, there often seems to be. The first time I did one of these, it didn't work, and we had to count everything all over again. And then a third time. And then again. After coming in at 5:30 am that day, things were still being recounted when I left, at around 3:30 pm. Apparently everything wasn't completed until 8pm that night. Oh, and did I mention that all the extra recounting was due entirely to the fact that someone had set up the little handheld scanner thingy with the wrong date in it? That's all it was, and that was enough to generate twice the work as was normal.

Once the big bad mainframe has those results, it's smooth sailing. stuff prints out, reports and such, and these are rechecked for accuracy and any obvious errors. Then I make final adjustments, and then post the final results. Then I do all the other tuesday stuff, put out all our promotional stuff for the week, hang posters, etc. Then I'm done.

Then I grab as many people as I can find, and we go out for a well deserved brunch. Then I go home and try to sleep, unsuccessfully. So I often make and eat some chicken soup, which is what the title of this post is really all about.


Anonymous Sasha said...

I think it's time to invest in a little automation technology...

8:28 AM  
Blogger Tederick said...


This comment was brought to you by Extreme Steve.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Derbecker said...

If nothing else, the inventory count might allow you to gauge the film-literacy of your thieves. The act of theft might be reprehensible, but if there's some guy standing on a streetcorner saying "Hey! Wanna buy some Godard and Malle? I've got nouvelle vague here for some lucky dude...", you have to admire his devotion.

9:07 AM  

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