The Question is:
How do I sort a file with an odd record size.
The Answer is :
Using SORT, most likely.
RMS does prefer to operate with even-length (word-length) records,
and will pad variable-length records stored in a sequential file
to align the next record at a word boundary.
On a related topic, both OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX do prefer
data alignment, and OpenVMS Alpha performance is particularly
sensitive to natural alignment of data. This has performance
implications, and this can also has padding implications due to
differences in how the OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX compilers
choose to pad structures. See the FAQ for various related details.