Artisans are scarce in existence, these days. With the constant drone for the economic push for profits, and the incessant pressures of everyday expenses, the village watchmaker, the goldsmith who personally fashions the engagement rings for the couple whom he saw just a moment ago playing outside his shop window as two children lost in the world of make-believe; that is a world we once read about, perhaps in a Dickens novel, of characters out of an era long lost and forgotten.
But the remnants of the characteristics evidencing quality and craftsmanship must survive, lest perfection be lost as a goal and exactitude no longer an achievement worth applauding. Of course, there will always be cheap replicas; of digital watches manufactured en masse in factories where labor is inexpensive and the worth of human creativity barely given a moment’s glance. That is why, when one comes upon a true craftsman, observing the care and skill being put into creating a product of worth is indeed something to behold.
And so it is in every endeavor.
For the Federal and Postal employee who must find, of necessity, that filing for Federal Disability Retirement can no longer be put off, it is well to heed the warnings of those predecessors who have experienced the nightmarish administrative procedures required in attaining the benefit. While it need not take an artisan to put together an effective case, the approach one embraces should include the characteristics of that unique watchmaker: care in the details; slowly building from a solid foundation; bringing together all of the variegated “parts”, including the medical documentation, legal arguments, effective factual statements, etc.
The Federal and Postal employee, whether under FERS or CSRS, needs to look at the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits as not only the presentation of the case, but the lasting impact of the finished product. For, in the end, the true artisan creates not only a timepiece, but a timeless piece of work which should last well into a bright future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire