Was it appropriate for Bishop to step in and take charge of the physical inventory at the warehouse of the orthopedic hospital? Why or why not?
Chapter 9 of the Solitary Auditor. Excerpt:
The interior of the small warehouse was littered with large steel tables, multi-layered storage shelves, and stacks of different-sized boxes, many of which were overflowing with inventory items. Unlike the public warehouses, the count teams for the orthopedic warehouse appeared to have no prior inventory-taking experience. It was also readily apparent that the count teams were not happy to be spending a portion of New Year’s Eve rummaging around the musty, windowless storage facility—Bishop later learned that each year the hospital assigned the inventory counting task to “new hires” from its janitorial and maintenance departments. After just a few moments spent observing the count teams, Bishop realized that they weren’t using preformatted count sheets. Instead, the teams were recording their counts on blank pieces of white paper. And, although they were working in groups of two, the twosomes were not count “teams”—each individual was counting and recording. Bishop also noticed that there was no rhyme or reason to the counting procedures. The individuals seemed to be picking tables, shelves, and boxes at random to count. Making matters worse, the prosthetic arms, legs, and other items that Bishop didn’t recognize were stored haphazardly without the benefit of any organizational scheme. Bishop approached a young lady with purple hair and asked who was supervising the counting procedures. “I dunno,” the young lady responded glumly as she dug into a large box of what appeared to be broken prosthetic legs. “Excuse me,” Bishop said as he tapped Purple Hair’s partner on the shoulder. “Can you tell me where your supervisor is?” “He’s probably home asleep, which is where I should be,” the angry young man snapped as he adjusted his sunglasses. “Well, who is supervising the counting?” Bishop asked. When the young man didn’t respond, Bishop decided to go vernacular. “Uh, who’s running the show here?” The young man tilted his head forward and peered at Bishop over his sunglasses. “S’posed to be some dude here from a arditering company.” After a brief pause, the young man asked, “Are you the dude?” After halting the counting, Bishop spent a few minutes formatting an improvised inventory count sheet and then 20 minutes trying to find a copier to make multiple copies of the count sheet. When he returned to the warehouse, only 2.5 counting teams were still there. For the next two hours, Bishop and his helpers organized the inventory by device and size. He identified five categories of devices, the final one being “Other,” and three size classes—small, medium, and large. Broken items were segregated in one corner of the warehouse. The actual counting began at 3:40 p.m; at exactly 6:05 p.m., the counting was completed. Bishop thanked the three counters still left at that point, put a large rubber band around the count sheets, and rushed to his car.