It’s almost a daily occurrence now. There is some crazy drastic difference between the stock count on a title and how many of that book we actually have in the store. It could be a receiver error because no one is full time or trained properly to do what a manager did, or it’s coming from the distribution side of things and the books they say are in the boxes they shipped to us aren’t actually in those boxes. It’s human error one way or another. The biggest human error from my viewpoint was eliminating the Receiving Manager position. I also think that the company didn’t respect that position as much as it should have. Yes, there could very well have been a lot of lazy managers or people who really didn’t know what they were doing back there, but for the good ones, it mattered. Stores ran better with a good receiving manager. They were the first line in getting a book placed into a customer’s hand.
Most of them are gone now and I have a sick feeling in my stomach about this upcoming holiday season. It’s going to be awful. A lot of stock is going to be lost, or opened way too late to matter for the holidays and the following Inventory will not paint a pretty picture.

For those stepping up to the role of receiver and shelver and merchandiser AND manager AND EVERYTHING ELSE, you’re awesome. Being a bookseller was a tough job and now it’s even tougher. Keep at it. Let’s make the sales figures show that we can reinstate those eliminated positions and grow the bookselling business beyond where we are.