It is of the old adage — of the dog which refuses to bite the hand which feeds him. It is only the human animal which betrays the adage; but, then, that is part of the point of the saying, and the recognition of the perversity of man.
It is thus not a wonder that Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, remain unilaterally loyal to their agencies, despite sufficient evidence to the contrary and which would easily justify acting in a disloyal manner. Years of toil and doing extra work without asking for anything in return will not result in empathetic treatment by an agency when the Federal or Postal worker requires such extraordinary treatment during a medical crisis; and when the surprised Federal employee becomes aghast at the reactionary irrationality of the agency, those of a cynical nature will often respond, “What did you expect”?
But the adverse nature of how an agency reacts when its employee files for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is really the flip-side of the same coin: the Federal or Postal worker acts like the loyal dog; the agency acts like the hand-biting dog. It is the inherent nature of the complex make-up of the human animal which allows for such contradictory reactions. Or, perhaps not — it may be just as simple an explanation that there are bad people in the world, and those who expect goodness from human nature will normally be sorely disappointed.
That is why when an agency provides for unexpected level of support during the process of a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application, we react with such gratitude and surprise because of the exceptional nature of such a response.
One indicator that is fairly reliable, of course, is the wagging of the tail — unless, of course, it is the tail wagging the dog; but that is another adage altogether, for another time.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire