As applied to a person, the dual concepts refer to the capacity of the individual’s talent and the relational importance to the greater needs of an organization, entity or society; as inserted in a more general sense, it is an evaluation of the connection between import and applicability. In both senses, it embraces one’s identification within a macro-context of where one fits in.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have striven for years and decades to achieve a level of competence and relevance within an organizational context which treats one like the proverbial faceless bureaucrat which generates a worn and tiresome image, age itself is a friend, to the extent that as one works at a craft or vocation for many years, the wisdom gained equalizes the lack of experience and compensates for overzealous enthusiasm. But the flip-side of age and experience is that the human body and psyche are vulnerable, and susceptibility to deterioration and mortality itself becomes evident as one advances down the spectrum of a life.
Is life merely a project, as Heidegger would have it, in order to avoid the stark reality of our end? Are the corollary concepts of “Being” and “Nothingness” the fearful entities which engender our vacuous spurts of energetic turmoils in an effort to hold onto one in order to forget the other?
For Federal and Postal workers who find themselves with a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to threaten one’s ability and capacity to continue working in one’s defined Federal or Postal position, it is the very question of one’s competence and relevance which begins to compel one 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, the vulnerability of age, infirmity, and the deterioration from one’s medical condition, compels one to reflect upon the status and stature of both. Identification within a community is always an important component for a social animal, and human beings are innately conditioned, whether by DNA determinism or by nurture of upbringing, to find as important one’s “place” within a greater universe of interacting “others”.
For the Federal or Postal employee who suddenly finds that loneliness and isolation compelled by a medical condition is leading to a cold and heartless expungement through adverse actions, increasing hostility and questioning of competence and relevance, the necessity of considering an OPM Disability Retirement application must become a priority by choice. Let others question through ignorance and self-hatred; the years of contribution speak for themselves, and let not meanness of doubt enter into the soul of one’s confined beauty.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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