What is the worst inventory observation you’ve ever done? My coworker once counted grain and had to scale the enormous storage vat and look down into it. That wouldn’t work for me. I harbor a pathological fear of falling into one of those things, suffocating among the wheat shafts, and winding up ground into a box of breakfast cereal. (I had a damaged childhood, okay?)
It's that time of year again, I'm busy doing a year-end inventory count of my cats and there may be a few of you huddled in freezers and barns and warehouses around the country asking yourselves "I mean just how material is this variance?"
We asked the auditors out there to share some inventory count horror stories and here are some of the best (or is that worst?).
Let's get right to it:
This one goes out to everyone getting up at the crack of dawn this Saturday to count inventory. Health.com identifies financial advisors and accountants as some of the most depressed workers: Stress. Stress. Stress. Most people don’t like dealing with their own retirement savings. So can you imagine handling thousands or millions of dollars for […]
Did I say a few?
The Alabama Poultry and Egg Association estimated that five million chickens probably died in the tornadoes, which slammed the northern part of the state, where the industry is centered.
Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to get your McNugget™ fix:
That alone isn’t enough to disrupt chicken supplies nationally. The state usually produces about 21.5 million chickens in a week. The U.S. produces roughly nine billion chickens annually.
This is getting ridiculous.
“[A]n estimated 500 birds that littered a quarter-mile stretch of highway,” in Louisiana, according to the AP. Oh, and apparently in Kentucky too only numbering in the dozens, so that barely qualifies as a story.
Obviously, no one in the MSM is concerned about getting an exact body count but an “estimated 500” is certainly better than the Journal’s stab of “Between 1,000 and 5,000.”
As for the cause, well, everyone seems to have a theory but the conclusion we’re most inclined to believe is along the lines of “we’ve got no fucking idea”:
“There was probably some physical reason, but I doubt anyone will ever know what it was,” Thurman Booth, Arkansas’ wildlife services director, told CBS.
The latest occurrence of more dead birds turning up in Louisiana only compounds local residents’ worries, as in the week prior to the Arkansas blackbird mystery, 83,000 dead drum fish washed up along a river about 100 miles west of Beebe. Wildlife officials claim the incidents are not related.
Oh, right. The fish. People are needed to count fish too.
As you are no doubt aware, landing an emergency inventory count on New Year’s Eve is about as an unlucky event that can befall an auditor. Typically, you don’t miss any of the booze or scrambling for a midnight kiss but seriously, who wants to work on New Year’s Eve?
As bad as the 12/31 count may be, when you get a call to count birds that fell out of the sky for no apparent reason at 10 pm on December 31st, you can safely assume that your new year will be far, far luckier.
About 10 p.m. Friday, thousands of red-winged blackbirds began falling out of the sky over this town about 35 miles northeast of Little Rock. They landed on roofs, roads, front lawns and backyards, turning the ground nearly black and scaring anyone who happened to be outside.
“One of them almost hit my best friend in the head,” said Christy Stephens, who was standing outside among the smoking crowd at a New Year’s Eve party. “We went inside after that.”
The cause is still being determined, said Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Of the more than 4,000 birds that fell on Beebe, 65 samples have been sent to labs, one in Arkansas, the other in Wisconsin. Some results may be available as soon as Monday, Mr. Stephens said.
It’s doubtful that auditors in these counts but the skills involved are no less than of the classic opiner. This just happens to be a far creepier count than you would normally be assigned.
It’s a big day of counting items of all sorts: screwdrivers, unsold Pontiacs, Shiri Zinn Minx vibrators. And unless you’re Count von Count, we’re guessing that you’re not too psyched about it.
We’ve touched on inventories a couple of times in 2009 and now that the mother of all count days is here, we’ll open a thread for those of you poor souls that will be spending all day tagging [insert item].
Whatever your responsibilities are, we hope they won’t get in the way of your NYE plans but unfortch, one reader has already told us about the less than thrilling news they got yesterday:
I just found out I have one on new year’s eve that is three hours away from where I live for another of the firm’s offices and I likely won’t be leaving there until 8:00 pm. And this company’s inventories have historically been “messy”. F My Life.
Nothing like last minute. To top it all off they’ll probably end up counting pig carcasses outside a slaughter house.
So let this story be your jumping off point for our inventory thread. Share your nightmare inventory count stories from auditor tales of yore or what the hell you’re up to today. And don’t leave out the details like condom goodie bags. Have a great count and don’t be ashamed to use your fingers.
Personally, it would make for a better yarn if we were hearing about Jameson-fueled discussions about healthcare reform that eventually lead to grabbing all the gifts (and the remaining Jameson) and storming out of in-law’s house. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until after the holidays for those.
What we have heard is that PTO still isn’t being granted in the name of inventory counts. One reader notified us that her office still hasn’t released the inventory schedule so A1s and A2s are still going to have to wait to see how much PTO they’ll be able to take for the holidays:
[I] emailed you about a month ago that we (first and second year associates) couldn’t schedule any PTO for Christmas yet- and STILL we can’t schedule PTO. I think it’s ridiculous that it’s almost a month away and we can’t get any time. I talked to a partner…and he said that we’ll get the inventory schedule the first week of December, and then we’ll know when we can schedule vacation. [He said] ‘well you’ll have two days to spend w/ your family, right’
For some people two days with your family is about all you can handle but we understand that may just be people we know.
And regardless of whether you celebrate the birth of JC, lots of people travel in the twelfth month and it’s definitely frustrating if you’re still getting stonewalled on the PTO. We’re not sure if this is an isolated incident so discuss your office’s ability work with you on the inventory schedule or if they’re putting coal in your stocking.
Earlier: Are Inventory Counts the Bane of Your Existence?