Thursday, September 20, 2012

Inventory (Oh Yeah)

I really like all the people I work with at the new, new Cracker Factory. But when a group of human beings get together to do complex work, sometimes miscommunication can occur, as it did today with comical, thankfully harmless, results. It reminded me of my most favorite post from my old blog, which was inspired by the boys in the tech shop way back when. They were all good guys, too.

May. 25, 2004 - 2:08 p.m.

ANOTHER lazy workday at the offices of Woundup Corp. …

Larry: Hey, Mike. It looks like we need new toner in this printer.

Mike: Oh yeah? I’ll call the techs.

Larry: Thanks, man.

Mike: Easy enough.

(A few minutes later.)

Tech: Somebody need a new toner cartridge out here?

Larry: Yeah, for this printer.

Tech: I see. An XR400. (ruminates) I think we’re out of those. I’ll have to go in back and check.

(He leaves and returns minutes later with the Tech Director.)

Tech Director: What’s the problem here?

Larry: We need—

Tech: (cuts him off) New toner cartridge. XR400.

Tech Director: XR400? I’m all out of XR400s. 

Tech: Right. That’s what I said. 

Tech Director: Right. (ruminates) FUCK! Did you tell Ricky to order a new one?

Tech: Not yet. Hold on. (He uses Mike’s phone to dial.)

Tech Director: I’ve got XR300s, XR500s, THPs, YZKs. I knew this was gonna happen.

Tech: (on the phone) Hey, Ricky. Yeah, it’s Joey. Yeah. We need to order a new XR400 toner cartridge. Yeah. Yeah. Right. All right. (hangs up) He’s gonna order one.

(a few seconds later Ricky comes out)

Ricky: Did you say XR400?

Tech Director: Yeah. XR400.

Ricky: I thought we had one in back.

Tech Director: No we don’t. We need a new one over here.

Tech: I checked. Nothing.

Ricky: I saw one back there yesterday.

Tech Director: Will you order it, already?

Ricky: I can’t just order it. You need to clear it with the boss. Those things are $300 a pop.

Tech Director: We order them all the time!

Ricky: I can’t do it.



(the Boss arrives)

Boss: What the hell’s going on out here? I’ve got a visiting executive from headquarters in my office and people are shouting.

Tech Director: I asked Ricky to order a new toner cartridge, but he won’t do it!

Boss: Toner cartridge?

Tech: For this printer right here. The XR400.

Boss: XR400? I thought we bought new printers.

Tech Director: That is the new printer.

Boss: You need a toner cartridge?

Tech Director: Right.

Ricky: I can’t do it without approval. I need a signed form.

Boss: Where’s the form?

Ricky: He didn’t give me one yet.

Boss: Why didn’t you give him one?

Tech Director: We order these all the time without a form.

(the Visiting Executive joins them)

Visiting Executive: Trouble, Frank?

Boss: Well, no, Jim. Just a miscommunication.

Visting Executive: What’s the miscommunication?

Tech Director: Well, we’re just trying to get a new toner cartridge for this printer here. An XR400.

Visiting Executive: XR400?

Boss: It’s alright, Jim. We’ve got it all figured out. 

Visiting Executive: I see. (ruminates) Well, I have to go Frank. I have a meeting with Mr. Blister at headquarters.

Boss: (to Larry and Mike) What’re you looking at? Get back to work!

(all exit, leaving Larry and Mike)

Larry: Did you eat luch yet?

Mike: Nah. I was gonna get a hot dog in a minute.

Larry: A hot dog. (ruminates)

(FLASH FORWARD to next week. Larry looks in his office mailbox and finds a glossy company brochure. On the cover is Woundup Corp. CEO Tom Blister at a podium making a speech to a group of the company’s investors. It reads: WOUNDUP CORP. CEO TOM BLISTER SPEARHEADS DYNAMIC RESTRUCTURING. Said Blister: “We must weed out the growing culture of inconsistency and incongruity that has taken root in our company—beginning with standardization of inventory cataloging and requests. Company accountants performed an in-house audit and found gaping leak-holes in our internal stocks: from B2B portal servers down to copier toner cartridges. This initiative I am unveiling will not come without sacrifices. We regrettably must terminate positions in the data analysis and content transmission sectors. I believe this will make Woundup Corp., in the words of Italian philosopher Giocometti Andigliari, ‘a clearing house of God’s grace, man’s humility and nature’s servile harvest.’”---Larry looks at his desk and the sign attached to his inbox: CONTENT TRANSMISSION.)


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