Speaking extemporaneously, or in an impromptu manner, can have dangerous consequences, precisely because it diverges from a prepared text or speech. Comfort zones define most people. For government agencies and Federal bureaucracies, there are “Standard Operating Procedures”, and in some ways, to adhere to an SOP provides for a fair application of a “one size fits all” approach, thereby preventing allegations of favoritism, actions tantamount to insider trading, or cronyism.
Agencies and organizations tend to react in predictable ways. Because of such predictability, Federal and Postal employees who have had a “good” relationship with one’s supervisor or manager will often make the mistake that, in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, such a positive relationship will continue even after informing the agency that one will, has, or intends to, file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
But the mistake in making such an assumption is that the relationship itself necessarily contains an implicitly conditional factor: continuation of work which benefits the supervisor or manager through a positive reflection of performance, with a greater reflection of good upon the agency as a whole. Once that conditional element is neutralized, the benefit to the supervisor and the agency is negated, and the relationship itself becomes unnecessary, null and void. Adversity begins to appear. Animosity, contention and suspicion abounds.
Federal Disability Retirement by the Federal or Postal employee must be viewed as a medical necessity for the individual; but for the agency, it is like the man who attempts an impromptu remark, and finds that an action outside of the bounds of a standard operating procedure has been disallowed; it’s just that no one told me so.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire