It is sometimes referred to as an unbranded animal, often a calf or yearling; the fact that it is unbranded, implies that it doesn’t belong to a particular stock; ownership is not established; and secondary meanings include an inference of being unorthodox or different. One assumes that the maverick acts differently by choice; but without knowing the history of one’s life, such an assumption may be betrayed by an opposite set of facts: that the “others” shunned and excluded, resulting in the unavoidable choice of being the loner.
Medical conditions seem to do that to groups. Human empathy is supposed to, by myth and self-serving accolades, bring people together for support and community; but the opposite is more often true than not; that a change in the stock spreads rumors of a plague, making nervous the healthy components. Or perhaps it is merely that strangeness cannot be dealt with, and the reactive response in general is to shun, isolate, and act as if the difference did not exist.
For Federal and Postal Workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the sense that one has become a maverick among others is nothing new. Whether because of the medical condition, or because of the reaction by one’s agency or Postal Service, being unorthodox or tagged as no longer part of the identifiable herd, is part of everyday life.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is merely the natural next step in being tagged as a maverick; for, having already been deemed different, it is time to step outside of the orthodoxy of one’s agency or the U.S. Postal Service, and set out for one’s future by creating a path hitherto untraveled.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire