Within the past 2 weeks: a rabbit’s nest is discovered in the back yard; then, in the early morning dawn of the next morning, that same discovery is met with a predator whose presence is feared only in the limited universe of suburbia — the neighborhood cat. Laying with a sense of indifference and aplomb, the cat is quickly shooed away, hoping against any glimmer of hope. Sure enough, the heads of the two young bunnies had been eaten.
And the second wildlife sketch (well, not quite, inasmuch as a backyard in suburbia hardly constitutes the wilds of woodland forests): attending to some chores, a baby squirrel walks without thought or suspicion right up to this human; a moment later, the mother prances frantically, and in the quiet language known only to animals, directs the young prey back to the safety of trees and branches.
Humans are merely a species within the greater genus of animals, and yet we tend to forget that. It is, of course, at our own peril that we forget the obvious.
For Federal and Postal Workers who encounter and engage the carnivorous power of an agency, the bureaucracy of destruction can quickly stamp out the youthful naiveté which the Federal or Postal Worker may exhibit. Perhaps it is like the bunnies: As long as one stays in the metaphorical nest of one’s own making, safety will be assured. Or, like the baby squirrel: Be open, and no harm will result.
Whatever the consequences of youthful exuberance, the difference is at least this: For human, most mistakes based upon a reliance of trust do not end in terminal consequences; whereas, in the wild, a singular mistake can result in death. Trust in one’s fellow man is a reflection of two sides of a single coin: the one side, revealing moral character; on the other, naiveté.
When a medical condition impacts the Federal or Postal employee, and consideration is given as to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS, the query is often made as to how much trust should be granted or information should be revealed, and at what stage of the process, to the carnivorous animal known as “the agency”.
One should be able to glean the opinion of the undersigned as to the answer to that question, by the very nature of these sketches.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire