Each genre retains its own internal customs, traditions and acceptable characteristics which, in their idiosyncratic ways, defines for itself why the specific genre is distinctively different from another. Content, length, volume, and literary mechanisms may be acceptable within certain defined parameters; a recent biography by Edmund Morris attempted to utilize a literary artifice which, by most accounts, was not well-received within the genre.
In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, one must first and foremost understand the “audience” to which the Federal or Postal employee is “writing” to, and thereby custom-fit the “genre” of the writing.
The reviewing clerks at the Office of Personnel Management have dozens, if not hundreds, of files from Federal and Postal employees. At the First and Reconsideration stages of the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM, the reviewing clerks must sift through the case-file by analyzing the medical documentation submitted, and most importantly, the Applicant’s Statement of Disability as reflected in SF 3112A. A Dickens-like autobiographical background is not needed, and will likely be ignored. A mere listing of the medical conditions, while short and to the point, will likely be insufficient. Thus, the old adage: neither too hot, nor too cold. Somewhere in the middle is the proper “genre” to apply.
As for the specific characteristics of an effective submission, a general comment: Stay on point; connect the dots between one’s medical conditions and the positional requirements; and don’t bore the reader.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire