It is how we view ourselves as one entity among others; where the I-Thou relationship corresponds to the perspective we have of ourselves, of others, and within the micro and macro-communities we engage and with which we interact. Who we are; how we see ourselves; what constitutes value and worth; whether productivity is defined merely by the volume of paperwork shuffled, or in the manufacturing of items shipped to far-off places; and the constancy of eyes which discern the essence of a person’s place in society. One’s identity is intimately and intangibly intertwined with one’s job, profession and vocation of choice — or where one simply “fell into” the morass of growing from teenager to adulthood.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who begin to suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts one’s livelihood, the vocation one has aspired to for the past few years, decades, and throughout one’s lifetime; or for the Postal worker and Federal employee who have viewed the position as merely a “pass-through” job in order to obtain certain credentials and qualifying clearances; in either cases, when a medical condition begins to prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, there often erupts a crisis of identity, precisely because of the intimacy between one’s health and one’s capacity and ability to work.
The proverbial “identity crisis” occurs precisely because of the intersection between the tripartite conditions which society has placed with a burden of chaotic rationale: Who we are; What we do; Our value tied to productivity and “doing”. Where health begins to deteriorate, the ability and capacity to remain “productive” diminishes; regression of “doing” reduces one’s market value in a society which idolizes comparative worth; and as what we do becomes less valuable, who we are shrinks in the eyes of the macroeconomic stratosphere of societal valuation.
Time to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For, when the Federal or Postal employee begins to embrace the identity crisis of this vast bureaucracy of the Federal sector or the U.S. Postal Service, it is time to move on.
“Moving on” is to simply accept the devaluation system of monetary policy of the Federal agency and the U.S. Postal Service; but it is the personal identity crisis which must always be dealt with, and for the Federal or Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s perspective of self-worth, it is time to exit from the abyss of deterioration, and take the positive and affirmative step by preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire