Remember when you were a kid, and you used to have a favorite day of the week? Or, your favorite day of the year, usually your birthday and/or Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus? Well, I have a favorite day of the month, and it’s called…
Yes, that’s right. Inventory. And, yes…I am being completely sarcastic.
I look forward to taking inventory as much as I look forward to going to my doctor for my yearly physical. Really? You mean you want me to get on that scale? Right now? Wellllllll….let me at least take off my clogs, my socks, my watch, earrings, and the inevitable down vest that I’m guessing I’m wearing.
We are on a strict inventory regimen here. We have divided our calendar year into 4/4/5 month segments, so as to make sure that every quarter is absolutely comparable. God forbid we have an extra day in June – how can we accurately compare everything if all things are not equal?
I’m learning a lot owning this business. I’m learning that I hate weighing my ingredients almost as much as I hate weighing myself. I hate weighing my ingredients because there are 138 ingredients (give or take a few) that are anxiously awaiting their moment on my scale. Welllllll….actually, it’s not my scale. I borrow my parents’ scale, a very old but reliable home version of a doctor’s scale. You can just imagine the raised eyebrows I get from my employees and customers when they see me lugging this thing into work. Every month, we haul our heavy bins of flour, sugar, chocolate, oats, etc onto the scale for their monthly weigh-in. After weigh-in’s, it’s time to move onto packaging and supplies – three more hours drinking coffee and counting boxes, labels and cupcake papers, etc.
What I’ve learned most about myself through monthly inventory, is that if it’s not fun, I don’t want to play. I used to delay taking inventory, procrastinate until even career procrastinators had long given up. Fight counting. Resist the scale. And then, I would have to work backwards to somehow remember (not a good thing when I frequently find myself walking with purpose toward a room, only to stand there, blank, no clue why I came there in the first place) what I’ve used since June 30th turned into July 3rd. It never works out well, and lying on inventory is about as low as a human can go. I’ve managed over this past year and a half of inventory hell to turn taking inventory into a competition. I’m not sure who I’m competing against, and it really doesn’t matter. The point is that it’s become a game. The point is that, as much as I hate this about myself, I’m pretty competitive. The point? I want to win the game. Now, I look forward to doing the count. There’s a weird sense of satisfaction that comes from the realization that I have about the same amount of butter on-hand for two months in a row. I love the clean-up that inherently comes with inventory. Consolidate, organize, break down boxes, re-stock shelves…nothing makes me happier than a clean & organized kitchen.
So, as much as I hate to admit this, part of me feels like if I can turn inventory into something fun, something that gives me a sense of satisfaction, I either have:
A. turned into a boring adult
B. am getting better at math
C. am in a serious stage of denial, or
D. am finally learning how to run a business.