OPEN SEZ-ME: Inventory For Dummies

Inventory.  You have stuff.  You make sure it’s still there.  If the item is encased in something–like, say, a DVD–you open the case to make sure the DVD is still there.  Logical, sensible, and necessary.

But not for everyone, as it turns out.  But at least they tell on themselves.

I’m doing DVD & CD inventory with one of my lending library clerks, ostensibly to help him but primarily to keep a quality check on the process, as last year things got muddled and the DVDs/CDs had to be re-counted.

Today I find out why.

We have several multi-disk books-on-CD.  As the clerk watched me open the case to one of these & count individual disks he says:

“Oh!  There’s what I didn’t do last year!”

DVD case“What’s that?”

“Open the case! I was just counting the cases.”

“Please tell me you’re joking.”

“No!  I’m not!  That’s what I did wrong.  I wasn’t thinking about what was inside them, I just counted the case and moved on.”

“Without checking to see if the CD was there?  In other words, without actually inventorying the case?”

“It just didn’t occur to me, until I saw you do it.”

“No wonder they had to be re-counted.”


You can’t even get mad at this stuff, and that’s hard for me, because it’s in my nature.  But we got a good count, solved the problem for posterity and, as the clerk observed, moved on.

BTW — We have 131 DVDs, 13 Blu-Ray, and 187 CDs.

VHSAnd over 650 VHS tapes.  Ugh.  But they are in constant use, because of the prison’s gargantuan video system.  Each month we feed about 22 of these into the gaping maw of a VCP, and it does its thing for 30 days.

long-johnsBecause many of these players have no repeat programming, the inmate responsible for keeping this system running has to insert the tape, push PLAY, then strap a piece of elastic–from an old pair of long-johns–around the tape slot.  When the tape plays to the end & tries to eject, it hits the elastic & returns to the machine, to be played again.  And again.  And again.  Or, as the Brits say– ah-GAIN.