Most lives are lived with an expectation of unease; if things are going smoothly, we look with suspicion at what will come from around the corner; if calm and quietude prevails, we consider it merely a precursor to a major storm; and if good fortune comes our way, there is a leeriness as to the strings attached.
Perhaps distrust is based upon justifiable historical events; or, as news is merely the compilation of tragic events gathered into a compendium of daily interests, so our skewed perspective of the world merely reinforces what our childhoods entertained. With a foundation of such natural tendencies to see the world with suspicion, when a medical condition impacts a person, the expectation of crisis is only exponentially magnified.
Suddenly, everyone becomes the enemy, and not just the few who are known to lack heart; and actions which were previously normative, becomes a basis for paranoia. Chronic pain diminishes tolerance for human folly; depression merely enhances the despair when others engage in actions betraying empathy; and the disaster which was suspected to be just around the corner, closes in on us when pain medications fail to palliatively alleviate.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent one from performing all of the essential elements of one’s job, the bifurcation between the personal and the professional, between play and work, often comes crumbling down upon us, and signs of potential trouble portend to indicate to us that it may be time to “move on”. That impending sense of doom? It may be upon us. That calm before the storm? The reality of what the agency is contemplating may prove you right. And the potential loss of good fortune?
Agencies are not known for their patience. For the Federal or Postal employee who is no longer one of the “good old boys” of the network of productive employees because of a medical condition which is beginning to impact one’s ability to maintain a daily work schedule, or perform at the level prior to the onset of a medical condition, consideration should be given to preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether one is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
Time is often of the essence, and while most expectations of impending disasters are unfounded, the behavior of Federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service can never be relied upon, any more than the weather can be predicted a day in advance.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire