We have all built them as children; those shantytown assemblages like the poverty-stricken and make-shift huts constructed by corrugated debris gathered from refuse and discarded materials, flimsy and ready to collapse, if not by architectural fault lines, then certainly from the sudden and malicious puff of air emitted by one’s younger brother or sister tiptoeing up from behind in a sneak attack. The House of Cards — they test the dexterity and patience of one’s character, and simultaneously represent anything built on a precarious foundation, including business ventures, family relationships, and of life itself.
For the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, the concept of a House of Cards can become quite personal, and in the modern proverbial metaphor, “hit close to home”.
Daily, the precarious and tenuous state of one’s employment status is tested by sudden and unexpected winds of fate, by sneak attacks and underhanded methods of operational malice. A sudden stir of the atmosphere, a deliberate act of adversity, or the unsuspected whisper of undermining; they all amount to the same: an attempt to further weaken the foundations which were already being tested.
The option the Federal or Postal employee needs to consider, is to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, because if the foundation of one’s life has already become shaky, the fall itself is an inevitability when confronted by the vast behemoth of the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service.
Just as 2 out of the 3 little pigs came to understand and appreciate the necessity of a firm foundation, so the Federal or Postal employee should see the wisdom in fleeing from under the House of Cards, and consider filing for Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefits; for, they ran to the third when they could, and lucky for them, the Big Bad Wolf could not get to them — at least not in some versions of the tale.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire