As an XTREME SECRETARY, I am more than just a pile of sticky notes and five knuckles pounding electricity out of file cabinets. I am also — prepare yourself — the unit record retention coordinator for my area. This might sound like a highfalutin’ title, and rest assured: it is.
I attended a meeting with the other unit record retention coordinators. We watched a PowerPoint presentation that covered the basics, so we could go back to our areas and, well, retain records.
What is a record? That is an interesting question, and one that takes about an hour to answer, give or take a few cookies or so. (I had snickerdoodle and caramel chew.)
What is a record? Anyone? … Anyone? … Bueller?
Now, the end all of Record Retention is knowing what is a record and when a record can be delightfully shredded. Then, you simply record the volume of destroyed records in inches and voila, fill out the retention form in triplicate so it can be examined and…wait for it…filed away.
Imagine the number of “records” or files a university has. Imagine looking at all the files to decide whether or not the file should be kept or tossed, based on its value, its date, its confidential information. Then imagine measuring — with a ruler — the volume of to-be-destroyed records. Ain’t nobody got no time for that.
This is why we have created Record Retention Day, which occurs annually on the first Thursday of November.
Record Retention Day is like any other day at work, except on this day, you don’t do any regular work. You can only look at files and decide what to keep, toss, and measure.
The next day also will be a holiday, for rejuvenation of mind and spirit. It will be called Post-Record Retention Day. It will be a federal holiday, so everyone and the banks will be closed for the day, except for furniture stores and car lots, at which you will get some great holiday-inspired deals, like a GMC Sonoma extended cab with central port injection and an under-body shield package at 0% financing.
You get your sales slip from your holiday sale, you bring it to work on Post-Post-Record Retention Day. File it for three years as proof of mental rejuvenation under newly labeled file #568ACYEARXX RECORD RETENTION SALES SLIPS.
Happy Record Retention Day!