As all bookworms, the annual stocktake of a bookstore is probably the most hated day of the year – for that’s the day when the store is not open for any amount of money you can offer!
So what’s behind the scenes of a stocktake?
Well, every year, for one day, the stocktake boss will choose the best people to head small teams that’ll count and take stock of the books and mags from all the sections. But the actual work begins months in advance with people poring over maps, counting rows, test scanning barcodes and destocking where necessary. Suffice to say that the process is meticulous and invites only absolute accuracy.
Hence, don’t be surprised if you meet any of the team leaders and bosses looking frazzled, super-serious and ultra-stressed on stock-take day. Because despite it being any other working day for the rest, that day is such a culmination that any margin of error brings about much concern.
Yet, between counts and scans, there is still sometimes a little space for humour and light-heartedness. A feeler was sent out capture a couple of funny stories shared among team leaders.
Apart from the counting of stock, some contractors were here to repair the wooden display of the front window, by applying layers of shellac. Most of the teams were stationed near the front window were exposed to the fumes. When time came for them to print and confirm the checklist, Leader X found a mistake where the number counted did not correspond with the scanned. Team member Z though was much confident of his scanning, so he exclaimed,’Definitely counted wrongly, E must have sniffed too much glue (referring to the fumes)’. But after the usual checking, it was discovered that Z had scanned the different row, albeit correctly, to which he commented dryly –‘Then it must have I who sniffed too much glue!’ Such a cute rejoinder.
But the story that beats all would be the one which the staff who scanned right to left instead of the usual left to right. And his reason – he was left-handed and couldn’t scan left to right. In addition, he had the audacity to say that HR should pay him to go for an operation to rectify it so that he can then scan the proper way. Does this take the cake or not?
Still, we heave a sigh of relief that it’s all over and we can all take it with a pinch of salt. And a word of caution – we’ll be back next year to share more funny disaster tales.