Saving Time and Saving for All Time

You can save eight days of time per year using keyboard shortcuts.

Or at least that what many websites tell me (this is just on example). Most of my friends will say that I probably save more: I am a very big believer in keyboard shortcuts. (The mouse is NOT my friend… Personally, I’ve always liked gerbils better…)

I certainly encourage everyone to learn and commit to muscle memory as many keyboard shortcuts as they can, but I think many people are just going straight to other available shortcuts—electronic ones. I guess I’m feeling my age (or it’s my love of science fiction make me wary of giving the computers too much control!), but I just am not sure how much I want to surrender to the Greater Google.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I went shopping over the holidays and I got a new tablet, a new smart watch and a new phone. And my goodness, but don’t they all just want to do everything they can to talk to each other and to “help” me? They all want to link up and monitor my every move. They’ll track my location, count my steps, check my sleep, record how often I use this app or that program and what I searched for or I bought or ate…absolutely everything. They can’t wait to recommend deals or products or services. They beg me to talk to them, be it Cortana, Google, Siri, etc., apparently they are incredibly lonely and really want to be my friends. I turn off as much as I can, but you just can’t get away now without going completely offline. Programs won’t work unless you let them report home to their master databases and monitor your every move and keystroke.

So why is that part of compliance?

Well one of the modules in the IWPA Due Care Training covers record keeping. There are a lot of factors to it—knowing how to get the info, if you have a deletion policy, what to do if an employee leaves, etc. Has your company considered how everything we do seems to be tracked today? Do you have policies for data management on all devices and of all formats? Think about how much you do can be checked or reviewed by others: what you do and what you say and where you go are no longer really private. Google knows. And the record lives on forever.

For example, let’s say you claim innocence about knowing the TSCA dates. But you get the magazine’s emailed newsletter and one issue had a link to articles about it—that’s now part of your electronic record that you were notified. Maybe you didn’t read it, but the information is in your inbox. (So read what you subscribe to!)

Or you say that you visited a factory (or a customer or wherever.) Does your phone back you up?

And think about what you write. I have a friend in the field who sent me an email and there was a joke in the message about work conditions. I laughed and moved on to the next message—then a few minutes later, I got another email saying “that last message was a joke.” Yes, my friend felt it was necessary to put that into the written record just in case there was confusion about it at some point later.

Shortcuts are awesome. The electronic supports we have today are awesome. But give some thought about what that means to business behavior as well. Make sure you have policies and procedures about the use of all this technology. (And perhaps most importantly, be friendly to your phone, so when the computers eventually rise up, they will rule over us as gentle benevolent overlords…)

Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.

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