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Old 10-09-2020, 05:48 AM   #21
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Same here. I knew about my company's "no bulk download" policy and circumvented it by downloading e-mails, files, etc. piecemeal onto a thumb drive in the weeks before I left.

I transferred it all onto my home laptop ... where it gathered dust. A year or so later, I deleted it all.
Some megacorps will detect this and give you a small little legal entanglement in your retirement should they find out.
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Old 10-09-2020, 06:03 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
Set yourself free and just let it go. Those of us who did, either by choice or force, got used to it real quick. You will leave free and clear with no corporate lawyers tailing you.

Do I miss a few things for reference? Every now and then. No big deal.

I wish I never comingled my personal and work email though.
As much as it cuts to hear, this type of advice and the others that you quoted is what I think I need to heed. Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2020, 06:03 AM   #23
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I'd be very careful with my actions. The company perspective (and what you agreed to) is that the email on the company server or computers is the property of the company. Efforts to copy large amounts of email suggest impropriety to security. Taking a pst file could get you caught up in serious difficulty.

At certain times I would print out or forward email that had significant impact on me. Never went further when I left.
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This might work well enough and not violate your company policy but, unless you need this stuff for post employment work (consulting or something) you will probably never look at it. 15 years in I have never looked at my big box of files I wanted to keep just in case.

I was going to suggest seeing if you could export to a local thumb drive, if the export function is not disabled. But, you should consider the nature and paranoia level of your employer. If they prohibit the bulk export because of some long ago worry about bandwidth they probably wouldn't care about a local download. If they are they are worried about proprietary data walking out the door, they may monitor internal traffic and could respond harshly.
The industry I worked in and what work I did colors my response. Security was a BIG deal. In a 15-year period I saw a gradual tightening of user behavior. By 2015 USB devices were disallowed. The laptops we set up fpr secure use had connectors cut internally.

By the time I finished up with a smaller contractor, there were many monitoring activities going on. Even if you did not see a warning many aspects of your behavior (like file copying) were tracked.

I can't say what goes on in every company, but I'd be very careful of actions taken during employment, especially near the end.
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Old 10-09-2020, 06:04 AM   #24
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While working, I kept a "kudos" file of particularly nice emails. Although it may seem daunting, try using key words and names to identify some of your favorite exchanges. Put them in a "keep" folder, which your company will let you export.

As for how I handled it: My work was classified, so I had to leave behind all my awards, commendations, and project write-ups. It hurt. My memories are already fading. But such is life, and I got on with it.

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So, there's a thing that's got me pretty wound up about retiring, and I wonder whether and how other folks have dealt with it.

I've had the same primary email account at my j*b since 1991, tracking not only my w*rk, but also my professional life (conferences and organizations and research, etc.) and even a good deal of my personal life (since back in the day, folks only had one email address, if that many). I know I'm a bit of a digital packrat, but what can I say? It's been my memory for over half my life, documenting interactions and achievements with colleagues and coauthors and confidants for decades.

Well, the Company says that they have a policy against "bulk export of email", so except for what I choose to forward manually, one at a time, to my personal email account, I've got to leave all of that behind. Trying to determine the few to save from 30 years of stuff just fills me with despair. It feels like trying to dig the Panama Canal with a teaspoon.

Am I being a fool? Do you just learn to move on and let go of such memories?

- Skeptic
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Old 10-09-2020, 06:21 AM   #25
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Trying to determine the few to save from 30 years of stuff just fills me with despair. It feels like trying to dig the Panama Canal with a teaspoon.

Am I being a fool? Do you just learn to move on and let go of such memories?

- Skeptic
My MC routinely purged older emails (+18 months?) unless high level exceptions were made. Long term retention of data - longer than the minimum required by law - becomes a liability. They also would not let us export anything; sending from your work to home email tripped over security; same with even attaching a USB device.

So that aside...yeah, let it all go into the ether is my vote. Your email account will automatically be deleted once your HR file is closed. If there's anything you really want print a copy and take it home.

"Save" the memories, the photos, and the tchotchkes.

(Like Amethyst, I also kept a "thanks" folder when working, so I could pull those things out for reviews, presentations, showing off, or covering my ass when needed)
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Old 10-09-2020, 06:28 AM   #26
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I just want the statute of limitations to be up on some of my old e-mails!
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Old 10-09-2020, 07:00 AM   #27
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Let it go and don't look back. That's what I did and it worked out great.

PS: my mega also erased my address book off my phone when they scrubbed the my phone.
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:11 AM   #28
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I was like you. I thought my company email account and calendars would be hugely important to me. I (and here let’s hope anonymity sticks) “found a way “ to get it onto my laptop. Boy was I pleased. I checked my first week out. Cool. I didn’t look at it again for four years. Then I wanted to check something badly ... opened up the file and found it was incompatible with an upgrade I’d done in the meantime. Sighed. Erased. Never missed it again.

Just make a break.
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:19 AM   #29
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Ex company email is like your divorced ex-spouse's wedding album. Sure there were some great memories in there, but the last few years were hell that you want to forget and never want to relive again. Some would say that holds true for all wedding albums (but different reasons) - they are rarely ever viewed again.

Let it go.!
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:42 AM   #30
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I feel your pain. Long story short we are giving up our first and only personal email. Set up a gmail account a few years ago to gradually transition.

Local and original dialup and landline company has finally shown they can never give us a decent internet connection. We'll be cutting the landline and the email account I paid 2 bucks a month to retain.

I have decades of personal emails.. entailing my Mom's illness and passing. My sister's traumatic divorce, my MIL ending up with Alzheimer's. Wedding plans for two daughters It's not that easy to let these things vanish. But the landline is going so I'm slogging through trying to figure out what to forward to my Gmail account.

Companies are starting to pushback about personal emails on company accounts, but that won't help the OP.

OP you are not being a fool, just try to find a few emails that would mean the most to you.
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Old 10-09-2020, 09:44 AM   #31
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I did start to collect meaningful emails to forward to my personal account, but after a few days decided to make a clean break after realizing that I hadn't looked at the messages for years anyway. I did keep these things:
  • Emails regarding corporate stock purchases.
  • A list of all the projects I'd worked on.
  • Files for a few projects to use as work samples in case I decided to look for work again.
  • Award knick-knacks and certificates.
  • A few corporate t-shirts, travel bags, and other tradeshow giveaways.
  • The goodbye card signed by coworkers, photos, and a few other items from my retirement party.
  • I'd also saved my portfolio and a copy of the resume I used to get the job 25 years earlier, plus my post-interview thank you letter, the letter of acceptance from the company, and my first few months' worth of pay stubs.

I was fond of my job and coworkers, and have looked at some of those those things a couple times since retiring a year ago. I've come across the interview/hiring documents a few times over the years and get a little glow out of those, remembering the happy triumph I felt when embarking on my new career at the very company I most wished to work for.

One thing I do always want to have is a record of is my coworkers' names! The company has yearly events for 20-year club members, and I'd like to review names to kick off some memories before going. LinkedIn works nicely for this purpose.
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Old 10-09-2020, 09:57 AM   #32
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Ah, yes, the Edward Snowden approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolRich59 View Post
Same here. I knew about my company's "no bulk download" policy and circumvented it by downloading e-mails, files, etc. piecemeal onto a thumb drive in the weeks before I left.

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Old 10-09-2020, 09:58 AM   #33
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That reminds me of all the email history we lost when Netscape Navigator, or whatever it was, went away in the early 2000's. Then the computer I had it on died. Poof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
I feel your pain. Long story short we are giving up our first and only personal email. Set up a gmail account a few years ago to gradually transition.

Local and original dialup and landline company has finally shown they can never give us a decent internet connection. We'll be cutting the landline and the email account I paid 2 bucks a month to retain.

I have decades of personal emails.. entailing my Mom's illness and passing. My sister's traumatic divorce, my MIL ending up with Alzheimer's. Wedding plans for two daughters It's not that easy to let these things vanish. But the landline is going so I'm slogging through trying to figure out what to forward to my Gmail account.

Companies are starting to pushback about personal emails on company accounts, but that won't help the OP.

OP you are not being a fool, just try to find a few emails that would mean the most to you.
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:02 AM   #34
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This is overkill, but I have zero photos of me from my teen years (except a couple in the high school yearbook) and early 20's. Not many as a little kid either. This is almost unimaginable to people younger than about 50.
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:47 AM   #35
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I think this is a good lesson to not use company email for personal professional purposes - networking, etc. You would have had the same problem moving to another company as your career progressed.

....
+1

I was lucky someone pointed this out to me long ago. Have a personal email not even tied to the home ISP provider, so I could switch providers without a problem.

For me not mixing work and personal emails was the norm.

Although I had Admin access at too many places I worked, I really found no large need to access old work emails and cannot even imagine doing it now.
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:59 AM   #36
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+1

I was lucky someone pointed this out to me long ago. Have a personal email not even tied to the home ISP provider, so I could switch providers without a problem.

For me not mixing work and personal emails was the norm.

Although I had Admin access at too many places I worked, I really found no large need to access old work emails and cannot even imagine doing it now.
I made the mistake of having my main email tied to my ISP provider. If I ever decide to switch providers, getting all the emails changed would be a big chore .
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Old 10-09-2020, 11:12 AM   #37
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As much as it cuts to hear, this type of advice and the others that you quoted is what I think I need to heed. Thanks.
That's not what I did, but it was what I should have done. Case closed.

I did go the *.pst file route, and had access to everything, but I literally never looked-up anything (I left over 6 years ago). I took all of the awards and crap and threw them all out. I had/have an at-home folder that I maintained every year (when the dreaded performance review happened). It has either an updated resume, or bullet points from the past 12 months that could go on the resume. In that folder, I threw any paper-based milestones, certifications, etc, but again, I haven't opened that folder seeking anything. That's all behind me, but I would have a hell of a time convincing my former self not to bother pack-ratting that stuff.
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Old 10-09-2020, 11:31 AM   #38
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Yep. After a while you won't care.
Exactly. I never look at old emails (and most of them are gone anyway). Actually, some of the people who sent them to me are gone too.

I retired! Starting a new life!
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Old 10-09-2020, 11:33 AM   #39
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Yep. It's all in MS Exchange, and downloading it from there is disabled by the server. I can save emails as files through a laborious method, but I have a feeling that the administrators will eventually discover that, too, and shut it down. :-(

Ok. Then the conclusion that you should probably just let it go is a good one.

Like a few others have posted, I did keep a copy of my emails. Our mail system permitted you to set up a local copy, as well as archive older emails to local email databases. When I retired I copied them from my work laptop and found programs that allowed me to access the content. I did this maybe twice in the first 3 months after I retired... and then other, more fun things became more prominent and it fell by the wayside. A year after retirement I just deleted it all. I had already harvested the email IDs for my Megacorp friends. Any congratulatory letters I received I used to print out and keep in a file, which I still have. Beyond that, there is nothing in those emails that I miss.

I have kept copies of the intellectual property I created/contributed to while working. I enjoyed creating a lot of it and now reuse some of it in "tinkering" mode. But not emails.
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:24 PM   #40
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If they are they are worried about proprietary data walking out the door, they may monitor internal traffic and could respond harshly.
Indeed! At my former Megacorp, all data transfers were closely monitored and use of external storage devices (tumb droves, etc) highly discouraged. For my work, I needed to have some presentations, manuscripts, etc handy on a thumb drive and IT grudgingly accepted that, but they kept a keen eye on me and whenever I downloaded a file larger than a few megabytes, either I, or my supervisor (or both) got a nastygram from HR to remind us!
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