Inventory Upgraded

It’s another boring day in the parts department. Phil sits down at his desk to review some orders and sees a sticky note on his computer monitor.

Receipting and Inventory Today

Phil groans. He has never enjoyed doing inventory.

Something on his desk catches his eye. His inventory scanner is floating, circled with a red-orange light. A holographic display appears above it and reads PRESS HERE TO ACTIVATE.

Phil taps the scanner which disintegrates into a cloud of pixels. It’s like he’s just entered a first-person shooter video game. The scanner materializes in his hand and a computerized voice says, “Welcome to mission REY66537.”

In his field of vision, Phil sees a holographic user display generate. There are fields for score, four objectives, and various other indicators. As Phil rotates the scanning device, holographic crosshairs move with it.

To anyone else, it just looks like Phil is admiring his scanner.

The computerized voice speaks again, “Inventory begins in three —” a large countdown appears in Phil’s vision, “— two… one.”

A cardboard box is floating beyond Phil’s desk. A red indicator above it shows it’s dangerous. It flies toward Phil, hitting him. His vision turns momentarily red.

Phil’s coworkers may have just seen him dodge something, but to them, there’s nothing there.

Another box flies toward Phil. He hides behind his desk, and then begins to crawl between the parts shelves, scanner in hand.

As he stands, the computer says, “Objective one: scan unknown part.” An indicator appears in front of a box halfway down the shelf, notifying Phil where his objective is.

Phil scans the box, and his field of vision is completely taken up by a large notification.


The computer notifies him of this error as well, then continues, “Objective two: update quantities.”

Phil heads out of the aisle, when three boxes fly past him. Turning around, he sees the boxes floating in the aisle. He quickly targets them and fires his scanner. With a few shots, he hits them. The first explodes and a digital +3 appears where the box was. The second explodes with +6; the third, +9.

“Quantity increased,” the computer says.

Phil is running backward in the aisle, saying, “Pew, pew!” He falls into an office chair and spins around, continuing to make firing noises. To him, he’s hitting dozens of boxes, racking up points.

The computer chimes in, “Objective three: correct superseded part.” Phil takes the sticker from the front of the scanner and stamps on the box to his left. A notification appears, “Objective Complete. Good job.”

Phil stands against the end of a shelf, breathing hard, with his scanner raised in front of him. His heart is racing; sweat is pouring down his face. He shakes his head in exhaustion as the computer says, “Final objective: proceed to the parts counter.”

He peeks his head around the corner of the shelf and back again. He rips the receipt from the scanner, takes a deep breath, and throws himself around the corner. He shouts as he fires countless rounds into the cardboard hoard flinging themselves at him. Others see Phil running down the aisle shouting, while his scanner quietly beeps at nothing.

The counterman is sitting at the counter as Phil runs in screaming. Phil jumps over the counter, sticking a barcode on a box on his way. The computer tells him, “Special order part received.”

Phil is hiding below the front counter, as the counterman approaches him cautiously. “Hey, Phil” he says, “I’m really gonna need —”

“Shhh,” Phil interrupts, looking up. He sees they’re in a forest, and the counterman has red skin, horns, and a glowing red eyepiece. Phil looks anxious. He says to the counterman, “It’s inventory day.”

“Mission complete,” the computer says as the counterman shakes his head and walks away. A scoreboard appears, showing Phil’s stats from the mission. He got 100% inventory accuracy.

Parts Barcoding. From Reynolds and Reynolds.”