On the Trail of Missing Files

Speedy Recovery of Missing Files

Uh oh, that original contract from your company's biggest customer is missing in action. Now what?

First, take a deep breath. It's in your office somewhere and running around half-crazed is no way to find it. Chances are very good its simply been misplaced, not lost.

To follow are six easy tips that will likely result in retrieving the missing document:

  1. Start at your desktop. A desktop filled with stacks of records as well as many loose papers scattered around is a perfect hiding spot for a missing document. Carefully check under and around each pile and beneath each loose paper.
  2. Go to your in/out box. Maybe you mistakenly placed the document in that tray on the corner of your desk, the tray thats normally reserved for ingoing and outgoing mail. Take a look, you might find it there.
  3. Ask around. Finding a missing document could be as simple as inquiring among co-workers. As you well know, papers in a busy office are constantly circulating and it could be that your AWOL contract was routed to someone elses desk accidentally.
  4. Visit the file cabinet. Lets say the contract is for Baxter Corporation. Possibly the document was inadvertently put into the file...either by you or a co-worker. Go to the file, check the B section. And, be sure to check surrounding sections...because in addition to being mistakenly placed in the file cabinet the document might also have been misfiled in the wrong section.
  5. Check office machinery. Perhaps the document, without your knowledge, has been brought by a co-worker to a fax machine or to the copy machine. Take a look, you may just find it there.
  6. Make a call to the mail room. Many companies employ mail-room workers who are continuously making the rounds throughout offices, delivering incoming mail as well as picking up outgoing mail. Maybe your document was mistakenly identified by a mail-room employee as outgoing and the document is sitting either in the mail cart or in the mail room itself.