Infestation? Call the Data Exterminators!
As the parent of two young boys, I don't seem to have quite
enough time to keep up with all the current events. Perhaps you
feel the same way. That's why I want to tell you about an article
I remember from the last time I read a newspaper. It was several
years ago, just before the birth of my first child.
Remember back then, when all those hijinks were happening down
at Enron? I was reminded of it recently because, as a major shareholder
in the defunct energy giant, I received a settlement offer in
the bankruptcy case. I was very excited about recouping some
of my losses until I realized that my share of the settlement
would amount to less than the cost of the postage stamp to send
in my form.
But I digress!
During all that controversy about the company and its auditors
shredding the phony accounting records, I came across a personal
management tool so valuable that I remember it to this day. In
my articles I generally avoid providing useful and relevant parenting
information, but this could be such a valuable resource for parents
that I simply must share it with you. It's a website -- www.naidonline.org
-- brought to you by your friends at the National Association
for Information Destruction (NAID).
(Mr. Orwell, Mr. George Orwell, please come to a white courtesy
Here's how the website describes this group:
"NAID is the international trade
association for companies providing information destruction
services. NAID's mission is
to promote the information destruction industry and the standards
and ethics of its member companies."
With all the negative publicity about
Enron and Arthur Andersen shredding documents, NAID is out
there taking the lead in reminding
us of all the benefits of destroying information. Check out the
press release on its website entitled "Shredding is Good!"
It tells us all about how shredding helps
responsible businesses fulfill their patriotic duty to keep
information away from "dumpster
diving" competitors and identity thieves. Not to mention,
I might add, nosy auditors (Unless, of course, your auditors
are the ones shredding your documents for you!).
But the more you think about it, you realize
that the folks at NAID are being modest. Getting rid of sensitive
is only one benefit of "information destruction." Don't
you often feel overwhelmed by too much information? The constant
barrage of information on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and
cereal boxes is sometimes more than we can cope with.
And the Internet is a totally unmanageable torrent of information.
How can we know which information is important? We can't -- there's
just too much of it and not enough time to sort it out. To demonstrate
this, I asked an Internet search engine to find information on
several topics, chosen at random from a recently published list
of words that make twelve-year-olds giggle:
titular archbishopric (225 hits)
pu-pu platter (1,400 hits)
ball-peen hammer (5,970 hits)
mastication (17,900 hits)
Lake Titicaca (24,300 hits)
penal system (236,000 hits)
moist (a whopping 1,090,000 hits!)
Information is proliferating out of control. It is like a noxious
weed, the leafy spurge (22,200 hits) of the twenty-first century.
Let's face it: Information is ruining our lives.
What can save us from drowning in a sea of knowledge? Only the
dogged efforts of the 600-odd member companies of the National
Association for Information Destruction.
Please support these visionaries. With your help, we can move
toward the ultimate goal: To eradicate information from the face
of the earth.
I know change can be scary. It's hard to imagine life without
information. But trust me -- people who are not burdened by information
can live happily and become quite successful. How do I know?
Two words: Rush Limbaugh.
You'll be amazed at how easy it is to live your daily life,
have conversations, form opinions and make decisions when you're
not constantly distracted by information.
I know what you're thinking: There's so
much information around, it would take forever to destroy it
all. Not to worry! Just call
your friendly neighborhood NAID member company. My personal favorite
from the website is Shredco. That's really its name! "Shredco
mobile shredding units can destroy up to 8,000 pounds of material
per hour. . . .There is no need to sort or prepare files; our
shredder will easily grind file folders, paper clips and metal
fasteners. We can also shred computer disks and tapes, CDs, video
tapes, film, ribbons, X-rays and mylar."
Other items that can be shredded at no extra charge include:
employees' retirement plans, the value of the company's stock,
and the public's faith in de-regulation.
John Hershey is a dad, writer and attorney in Denver. You can
read more of his humor columns at www.vershina.com.
Copyright 2003 by John Hershey. All rights reserved.