Have you ever noticed how British actors don’t have the same perfectly white teeth as their American counterparts? Or, for that matter, any non-American, foreign television personality; unless, of course, they have lived here for a few years, in which case they have already undergone the cosmetic transformation of dental voila. Beware of that which one preaches for others; for, someday, it may come back to embrace the hypocrisy of one’s being. Yet, when something becomes the normative standard for everyone, then boredom and monotony of purpose begins to set in.
Thus do we require perfection of those television personalities which appear on various channels, and models and movie stars and even fill-ins and “extras”; and soon it appears as if everyone is born with a perfect set of teeth. With perfection comes intransigence; and soon thereafter, intolerance for any miscreant of societal norms. For all the talk about inclusion and acceptance, the one conflagration of discrimination always involves the ethereal universe of being “different” from others.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer 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 positional duties at the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, the fear of failing the standards of perfection predicated upon a public perception of tolerant intolerance, pervades us all.
Let me elaborate for a moment: We require perfection of personalities which we never meet but view daily; such a requirement ultimately reverberates throughout society and the psyche of a country; we carry forth that aura of requisite perfection, and begin to believe in the very lies of our own making. That is the subtle insidiousness of imposed standards which we never asked for, rarely noticed and fleetingly thought about. So the question becomes, Why do we then take such efforts to mask our imperfections?
Medical conditions are a fact of life. Being included in the greater realm of “beautiful people” is that harkening back to those pre-teen years of wanting to be part of the clique that was cool. When hostility and exclusion at the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service becomes unbearable, it becomes the exacerbating trigger of greater pain and anguish resulting through the medical condition one already suffers from.
It is time, then, to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset. Time for a change; time to unmask the masking of perfection; and time to move on beyond the cliquish immaturity of normative standards and relegate them to the vestiges of quiet failings.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire