One’s orderliness of life is dependent upon the next person; and like the proverbial domino which stands precariously wedged between the one previous and the one subsequent, the universe of stability is dependent upon the static nature of the surrounding environment.
Thus, in the antiseptic neighborhoods around the country, the quietude of the next door neighbor ensures the peacefulness of one’s heart. If a violent eruption or turmoil occurs next door, and the flashing lights of law enforcement blink through the closed blinds and curtains of your house, you feel violated.
The principle has been tested and verified, that one’s own order in a physical, as well as psychological sense, is only as secure or vulnerable as that maintained by the next person. For, we do not view ourselves; we view the world around us, and especially our peers, neighbors, coworkers and extended families, and it is by judging the stability of our surrounding environment by which we determine the security of our own lives. That is why when a person becomes disabled, it threatens the relative peace and security of supervisors and coworkers within the agency, and they react accordingly.
In advising Federal and Postal Workers throughout the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CRS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the question which is often asked is the timing of when to inform one’s Supervisor as to the intent to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. Unless there is a compelling reason to do so, the time to inform should normally coincide with the actual event of filing, unless there is a valid reason to preemptively inform the agency.
The reaction of an agency is rarely different is substance from one’s neighbor or relative; the disruption of one’s antiseptic and ordered life is seen when a blemish occurs upon the landscape of a cosmetically airbrushed photograph. When a slight rumble is heard, one looks immediately to the domino standing to the fore and the aft, in the known language of shipmates drifting rudderless in the vast sea of our own making.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire