Most of us require a semblance of self-determination, if only to conceal the inadequacies and keep at bay the disasters which portend, or pretend, whichever the case may be. By controlling circumstances, we believe that we can maintain prevention of crisis, pre-determine the outcome of expectations, and squirrel away the hesitations and insecurities controlling us in our lives of desperate needs. But life has a way of defying the macro-minutiae of the limited universe within our reach and immediate control.
Mastery of life is difficult to attain; just when we thought we had grasped the foundational principles of life and living, old age sets in, and the youthful vigor dissipates, like the ethereal dust of residue left behind by the flight of angels.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, it is that sudden onset of a medical condition which nags and refuses to go away, which becomes the harbinger of things to come. Agencies and the Postal Service tend to be “meddlers”, and once a particular Federal or Postal employee becomes the trigger-sighted individual, the stray bullet that travels is normally not too far behind. Loss of control, or the abandonment of a requisite sense of control, is derived when agencies target, and when adverse actions are issued, a PIP is imposed, and leave restrictions commanded.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement is an option which is a viable avenue to pursue, precisely because it attains and reasserts that requisite sense of control, by securing a needed annuity for some semblance of financial security and stability. OPM Disability Retirement is also a means of re-focusing one’s life upon the priorities which matter — such as one’s health and well-being, so that the harassment and hostility at work will cease.
But the long road in preparing, formulating, filing and waiting upon a Federal Disability Retirement application, filed ultimately through, and decided by, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is another bureaucratic morass which — for a time, at least — will feel like entering another and surreal universe where one’s destiny is in the hands of another: OPM. But in life, as in the parallel universe of the absurd, one must first lose control in order to gain the requisite sense of control.
Robert R. McGill
OPM Disability Attorney