Stocktaking. Ugh. I hate it, and I dread it every year. It marks the end of this financial year, and the beginning of the next. The normal routine is completely suspended while I and all the staff count and list every item of stock from each Double Bass to the smallest drum tension bolt. It’s a monotonous and wearing chore, but it has to be done every year to see how much profit the business has made. Fat chance this year, I’m sorry to say, but we still have to do it.
It’s not an entirely negative process though. We always discover instruments, accessories and printed music that we didn’t know we had, that have either been mislaid, mislabelled or put in the wrong box. Or of course, you can simply forget. I’ve already discovered a second-hand Buffet Oboe whose presence was unsuspected. With the price oboes are nowadays, that’s a lucky discovery, and it will be a bargain for somebody sooner or later. We’ve always got a few instruments returned from our rental scheme, and we sell them off at a price that reflects the rental already paid, so there’s usually a bargain for somebody.
The other thing about stocktaking is that it means that spring has really arrived, thank God. It’s been a long time coming this year, and we’ll all be pleased to put the clocks forward an hour and enjoy the lighter evenings. Still too early for barbecues though!