“What if” questions constantly haunt, and persistently undermine. They are the questions which people repetitively ask of themselves; and yet, like questions in Philosophy spanning multiple millenniums, they defy answers, and merely trouble the mind. Or, as Bertrand Russell once quipped, If such questions continue to bother, it is probably a problem of indigestion.
“What if I had done X?” “What if I go in today and tell the Supervisor Y?” “What if I ask for an accommodations by doing Z?” “What if…” The game of “what if” serves to delay and obfuscate; it kicks the proverbial can down the dusty road of oblivion, and rarely solves the concrete problem facing the individual engaged in the meaningless query. Almost always, the solution is instead to take affirmative steps towards reaching a goal.
Experience serves to defy repetition of questions left unanswered, and the best way to satisfy the linguistic hypothetical is to act in accordance with one’s need. For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition is impacting one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s job, the questions of “What if” may abound: “What if I am able to recover in 6 months?” “What if my agency fires me?” “What if the doctor will not support me?”
Some such questions are valid; others, emanating from fear and lack of knowledge. As gathering information is the key to satisfying questions unanswered, it is well to make inquiries and obtain facts as opposed to opinions and conjectures.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is a major step in the Federal or Postal employee’s life; but the alternatives are often untenable and leaves one with an empty hand to continue asking those unanswerable questions which leave the stomach churning with fears, doubts and unresolved issues.
Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM as a concrete step in taking an affirmative hold of one’s life, future and undiminished aspirations. And like grabbing a handful of sand in the dry desert of questions, to ask and query without a rudder to direct one’s efforts, is to meander through life with a blindfold.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire