Editors Blog


Taking Care of Business: Sorting the Sock Drawer, Er, Inventory

October 20, 2008
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I get some of my strangest inspirations from odd places.

The other day I opened up my sock drawer and saw several orphan socks. I can only assume that the secret “sock chute” in my clothes drawer has several of the mates permanently tucked away.

But it got me thinking that maybe I could make a project out of reuniting the socks if I really made the effort to search my drawers and the area around the clothes dryer.

Not that I have a lot of time to do that - maybe I can hire a sock sorter.

Do you have time to sort socks, er, sort your inventory?

I bet the thought has crossed your mind during some of the slow times of the year. Rather than reduce payroll or lay people off, why not ask them to become sock sorters? I bet there are lots of parts, supplies, and equipment that have been overlooked over the years and could easily go into the “write-off” pile.

Think of that old stuff that you could donate, sell (if someone would want it), or recycle (and get a tax break).

Also, think about how much cleaner and neater your shop would look or how much one or two employees might appreciate the same paycheck as if you were really busy.

And while you’re at it, maybe you can find some of those socks I am missing. I have visited with hundreds of contractors. I’m sure one or two might have fallen out of my suitcase.

I am especially fond of the black one with the vertical tan stripes. You can keep the Santa sock.

In advance, thanks.
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great editorial John!

Linda Taylor
October 20, 2008
This is the kind of idea that employers need to hear right now - think outside the norm and think about how to retain their employees. They might even find they have fun, get to know one another better and will learn from one another. There is nothing like the serendipitous moment of talking about an old piece of equipment and the problems associated with fixing it or seeing a piece of equipment and suddenly seeing a solution to a problem. I have found that sorting thru old inventory sparks conversations that in "normal times" there is no time for. Lots of learning happens this way. Billed hours are not the only way for a business to succeed. Downtimes can be invaluable.

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