As mentioned in the thread regarding PDF editors http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=21361.msg392197#msg392197
I'm at the tail-end of a year-long process to rid the squadron of paper.
Over the years I've had the "honor" of being the fixit guy for 3 Charters and a wing staff slot. My first round resulted in
30+ (yes 30+) 55 gallon trash bags of old documents and junk left at the CDS' curb. Not to mention
a bunch of misc cables, pieces of "stuff" ("we might need it") and general detritus. A few things went to Wing
for the historian, and a few olde things were sent to people who wanted them.
The second round wasn't as bad, but still had plenty to cleanup and dispose of.
Round three was somewhere in the neighborhood of 5+ trash bags, plus another 5 or so banker's
boxes of documents that went to (thankfully) an annual Spring Cleanup shredder truck.
Round 4 is finally coming to an end, and so far has been probably about 10 trash bags, 4 file cabinets, misc
unusable junk, and in this case, the cleanup of the personnel files in advance of digitization.
So much useless paper...so much...
To the valued Admin, Personnel, PDOs, or just CCs stuck with the job, if you're not considering
digitization, you really should. It's not a quick fix, especially for a larger squadron, but once done, it's DONE.
In all the rounds above, plus other CAP situations, the level of "useless but kept, just in case" is literally hard to
quantify in a meaningful way.
As of writing this, the vast majority of a member's career is encased in eServices, certainly anything of real significance.
Yes, there are some decorations still not tracked, and there won't be a record of the 20 minutes spent as a TFO in 1974,
but that's likely to change soon.
Regardless, the PERSEC alone is enough to make a corporate auditor run out of the room with their hair on fire.
Social Security numbers & cards, birth certificates, immigration documents, cashed checks (?), fingerprint cards,
credit card receipts, driver's licenses and abstracts, pilots licenses and records, bank deposit slips (for accounts closed by WBP) on and on.
My personal favorite - Form 2s and 2as that were never approved, some not even signed.
Pro Tip: These go in the suspense file until approved, not
in the personnel file to die alone.
Five copies of the same Finance committee minutes (OK, really?), untold copies of cash reports from 6 years ago.
(times every month).
The fax (FAX!) cover sheets from various forms and submissions well past their expiration date (not sure
which makes me sadder, keeping them so long, or that some of them are only a year or two old).
Now the grand prize winner, an entire file cabinet from a retired charter that the unit had somehow inherited, where the
charter had been retired 8 years earlier, and every piece of paper in the cabinet exceeded retention by at least 3 years.
"Wait, these are from "XX Squadron?".
"We can burn the whole cabinet without even looking in there..."
"Well, what if a cadet wants their records someday?" "I have some at home, too, I get a call every now and again..."
"We can't do that, and we're not allowed to do that, certainly not in a member's home."
Then there are the files of the long-term members where everything that passed within eyeshot of the member that had their
name on it and in any tangential way could be connected to CAP or aviation is in there. 6 inch folders dating back 30 years.
"If you want this stuff, it's yours, but we're not keeping it." "We don't need to know about the FBO luncheon you hosted in 1982."
The only thing more frustrating are members with 50 years in and an empty folder because they moved around and no one
requested their files. Presumably they went to destruct at the old unit because no one followed up on either end.
There's the box of misfit folders - another retired charter that the unit inherited (no idea how they kept getting stuck like this
but I wouldn't just take responsibility for an old unit's stuff "because"). Clearly there were issues with this old charter, probably
part of why they "aren't" anymore. Lots of folders with amorphous destruct dates, 1-2 pieces of paper total in the file, and in
some cases, no CAPID anywhere.
The mountain of this stuff times the 1300+ charters CAP currently has should give everyone pause.
Take the time during meetings starting this week and start cleaning this stuff out, or better start running
it though that fancy scanner NHQ issued your squadron and get rid of it altogether.
Don't leave it for the next guy.TL:DR Start cleaning out your files this week, there's a lot of useless paper in there.