Subtlety is not an inherent trait of the American psyche. As pragmatism and materialism dominates the prevailing thought-process, the capacity and ability to recognize and act upon indirect signs and hints is underdeveloped and considered a disadvantage. From recognizing the early warning signs of a medical condition, to responding to an agency’s initiation of adverse administrative proceedings, the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker is marked for his or her naive forthrightness. Thus the recurring quip: “Why can’t they just come right out and say it?”
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the need to recognized and act upon subtle warnings becomes a necessity crucial for survival. Timeliness matters; planning for the future requires a thoughtful recognition of harbingers of hazards.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal Service worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often like the childhood game of “cat and mouse”. As a game involving constant pursuit, avoidance of capture, near-misses and resumption of pursuit, staving off administrative sanctions, actions and similar initiations of contrivances by the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service while the Federal or Postal employee is awaiting a decision by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is simply part and parcel of this complex process involving a burdensome bureaucracy.
Filing early for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is often the key; ignoring those subtle warning signs, both about one’s own medical condition as well as the underlying substratum of intentions as indicated by the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, is to disregard the inevitability of life and its complexity of meanings. For, in the end, that which is subtle must unravel and manifest, but it is the one who first senses the forewarning of fate who ultimately can control one’s destiny and divert from the determinism of fatalism.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire