Hello, you haven’t heard from me in awhile. The suspiciously quiet analyst who sits in the first cube that everyone has to walk by any time they leave or enter the SLRM cubicles. I’m sure that my co-workers wonder about my ways; the habits and curious processes that allow me to complete my work.
A Day in the Life of: Megan Carey- Analyst Circa 2015.
Every morning I make sure I have my coffee; I’m pretty much useless without it and nothing would ever get done if I don’t have a cup when I’m at work. This is especially true these days as my stack of compliance paperwork from my Houston area local governments grows ever taller—Don’t worry, I don’t mind!— and schedule recertifications and amendments arrive sometimes weekly from my state agencies. Unfortunately many of these responsibilities, as important as they are, had fallen to the wayside as myself and two other analysts worked diligently on researching and updating Schedule SD these past few months.
Have any of you ever updated a retention schedule? Hats off to you; it’s extremely time consuming and is definitely a group effort. I cannot imagine completing it as an army of one. Let’s just say oftentimes laws and regulations are not always crystal clear and sometimes don’t even reference retention!
However difficult it may be, it is extremely important work. The majority of the local governments in Texas choose to adopt TSLAC’s local government schedules and it is our responsibility to periodically research and update those schedules to ensure they’re correct in scope, description, legal citations, and retention.
During my regular breaks from pounding the pavement of reviewing the Texas Administrative Code or searching the Texas Education Agency website, I would look up at my honeycomb print office décor and remind myself that I was a little bee, part of the hive mind, always working toward a common goal.
This really is the case for everything we do in SLRM, from training to consulting to the State Record Center workdays where we divide and conquer to pull, place, and organize the Records Center. We work together in order to develop and present the same message across all of our resources, including when we talk to you on the phone or over email. The bees of SLRM all share the same goal of manufacturing the records management honey that makes your job easy and sweet.
Creating My Process
Now that I’ve beat that dead horse of a metaphor, let’s move on to my process for prioritization. Picture a young woman entering her office and plopping down to her desk; in front of her is her audience of figurines that watch everything she does. That’s me!
Priority one is always consulting for me. First I listen to any voicemails blinking a notification for attention from my phone. This begins forming the framework to my day. Then I’ll open my email and scan through any new messages flagging those that are consulting. More often than not, I delete a large number of spam and robo emails stemming from conferences past attended; so impersonal, don’t you think? Then I scroll down to those I’ve flagged previously to answer them in the order received. Honestly, I could probably spend all day answering consulting and returning phone calls, but the responsibilities of an analyst are never so straight forward.
There comes a time in the early morning where I have to pause and ask myself about the status of my ongoing projects. This includes updating Schedule SD, representing SLRM on the internal agency trainers steering committee, finalizing PowerPoint slides for upcoming presentations, and more. With that groundwork in place my day and the tasks I complete take shape depending on due dates and the pressing nature of certain schedules or paperwork.
If I ever find myself stopped dead in my tracks, I have my new-age products to keep me grounded and centered always.
I leave you with this very telling moving graphic of me on this special Monday. See the caption please!
Until next time…