Welcome to a new invention I call “inventory noir” or “inventoiry.” I enjoy a good whodunit and I also like writing about inventory management, so here is my attempt to combine them. This mystery is entitled “Something Fishy: The Tale of the Missing Inventory.” It’s an origin story of sorts. Enjoy!
10:35 p.m. Inside the office of Dave Williams, private investigator.
A sharply beautiful woman strode into the office, not bothering to knock. Her hat and coat were drenched by the pouring rain outside, but she didn’t seem to notice. Her eyes were focused solely on the private investigator sitting at his desk in front of her. He responded to her steely gaze with a calm one.
A minute passed. D.W. patiently waited for her to state her problem, as was his custom with visitors.
Even though he was tremendously busy, he looked as though he had been relaxing at his desk when the woman came in. D.W. had angular features and eyes that made him look younger than he actually was. No one could place exactly what his age was because he had a timeless quality about him.
He let another minute pass in silence. Finally, she produced a manila folder from her coat and dropped it onto his desk. He glanced down at the folder. It didn’t look particularly heavy, but he saw a change in her after she dropped it, as though it had been a terrible burden for her to carry. She gave him a look that seemed to say she had already told him everything he needed to know.
He took the bait. “What can I help you with, ma’am?”
She narrowed her eyes, frowned and sat down quietly in a chair in front of his desk. “I’d like to report a murder,” she said urgently.
“It is. I also need to report missing products.”
“Were they stolen from you?”
D.W. paused for a moment. “Well, I’m uncertain if you’ve come to the right man.”
The woman wasn’t fazed by his unhappy tone. “Your sign outside says you specialize in homicide and inventory mismanagement, doesn’t it?”
“I’m here to report both.”
D.W. pulled out a pen and began writing on a notepad. “What’s your name?”
“There’s no time for that right now.”
“All right, then. What’s missing?”
“The murder weapons. And the victim is my business.”
D.W.’s pen came to an abrupt halt. He lifted his eyes warily and tried to see some clue in her face that would show she was joking. He found nothing but deadly seriousness. So he returned to his notepad.
“How was your business killed?” he asked.
“My products kept going missing in my warehouse, and I lost so much money that my business bled to death.”
“What kind of products were they?”
“What’s this?” he inquired, picking up the manila folder and opening it.
“Evidence. Those are my Excel spreadsheets. They show that I received all of the products, but they went missing soon after they were received in the warehouse.”
“Where is your warehouse?”
She gave him the address.
“I’ll check it out,” he said as he rose to his feet and grabbed his coat.
“Be careful,” she said as he strode past her. “It could be dangerous.”
What dangers will Dave Williams, private investigator, face at the warehouse? Find out next week in the second chapter of “Something Fishy: The Tale of the Missing Inventory.” Keep coming back to the Fishbowl Blog for fun stories and insights into inventory software.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.