Hello Gary,

Thank you for sharing this clever, creative, and inspirational piece. Great job and perfect timing as we reflect on the past year and plan for the future. May I have your permission to publish this in our award winning Fort Worth chapter newsletter, "Worth Recording"?

All the best,

Deborah L. McFadden
Records Analyst
Records and Information Management
(817) 871-8521 * FAX (817) 871-6654
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-----Original Message-----
From: Link, Gary M. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2002 6:06 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: OT?: A Retention Schedule for Life

I wrote this piece for our ARMA chapter newsletter. I thought I'd share it
with the list and see if you'd like to add your own entries:

    A Retention Schedule for Life

    We prioritize our lives without really thinking about it; without a
written policy or retention schedule. But, having written many records
retention schedules in my carrier, I thought I could take this holiday
season of celebration and reflection and write a retention schedule for
life, in order of my own priority. (If you try this at home, you list may be
arranged differently.)

    Family - Retain permanently. Older members may be reformatted from
corporeal to ethereal format, but storage space remains unlimited in your
heart. Note that no periodical rotation is required for ethereal storage,
and you will be there one day also.

    Job/Profession - Prioritized in different slots depending on when you
are a child, adult, or retiree. It is placed above friends during the stage
of life when you have children to feed, clothe, and house. Retain until no
longer needed. For many people, (ex: artists or writers) your job may be the
love of your life and you may keep it as long as you are able to do it.

    Friends - Retain as long as you can be true to them and they to you.

    Joy - This is a transient record: attempt as wide a distribution as you

    Car - Retain for its useful life. (Unless it is an '84 Subaru hatchback
and you are a 25 year old male: Drive it until its wheels fall off. Then
salute as the junk yard tow truck drags it away at 194,000 miles.)

    Responsibilities - Retain these as long as they are yours. Discard as
soon as they are no longer yours. Be careful that your life storage space
does not become full with them. This often occurs when your kids start
school, scouts, band, and sports, and every parents organization around
needs your help. (Not to mention professional organizations, too.)

    Worries - Retain only the ones that are needed to compel you to
accomplish tasks, and discard as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to
purchase an industrial shredder for their disposal.

    Anger - Discard this immediately. Forgiveness is even better than a
shredder for this one, and is available at all religious outlets, as well as
a few commercial ones (like jewelry stores and flower shops).

    Regrets - It is recommended that you organize your life so that this
record is not created in the first place. No retention.

   So that is my retention schedule for life. Feel free to add your own
entries as your life requires.

    Happy Holidays, everyone.

Gary Link
Pittsburgh, PA

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