Compassion and empathy are commodities discovered rare in form and content, and even scarcer in the wrappings of timeless sincerity. Individuals in the era of modernity lack any sense of communal obligation, precisely because of the fractured existence which naturally flows from a society built upon independence and self-reliance.
Further, when one encounters an entity, organization, corporate structure, or agency, it becomes that much more removed from any sense of personalized emotional contact, and instead we can deal with unwanted and unwelcome concerns by speaking in neutral platitudes; “the mission of the agency”; “it detracts from the team concept”; “performance-based incentives have not been met”; and on and on.
In the end, it is an antiseptic existence of an impersonal kind, but one which constitutes the reality of who we are.
For Federal and Postal workers who must face the daily grind of working within a bureaucracy which engulfs tens of thousands of workers, the need for simple kindness may be easily rebuffed when a crisis occurs such as the development of a medical condition.
There is, however, “the law” — of Federal Disability Retirement benefits, offered to every Federal and Postal employee under either FERS or CSRS. Where compassion ends and the law begins, that available option is considered by a faceless entity as its replacement of the former, in order to neutralize the need for personalization. Utilizing it and taking advantage of that which is available, is all that one can expect in terms of a human response from one’s agency. So it is that the Federal and Postal employee, whether under FERS or CSRS, at least has the option at all.
It is a benefit which is filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and can allow for the individual to regain one’s foothold back into the world of sanity, and perhaps onto the pathway of one’s local community.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire