Remember those old films, of silence, submarines and sonars (an acronym we have forgotten from the combination of terms, SOund, Navigation And Radar)?
There were those tense moments of complete silence, where heartbeats and perspiration could be palpably heard when life and death depended upon it, and the moment when someone coughed or dropped an object at the crucial moment; then, the sudden entrance of old Navy footage of depth charges being flung like spitballs from a rubber band, splashing into the ocean, then the angst of awaiting the slow sinking until the violent detonation of that camera-shaking explosion.
Was it close enough to have caused damage? Can the heavy metal doors be shut in time to prevent deadly flooding? Can the engineer fix the dent in the tin can just enough to chug along to the nearest base for further repair? In the end, it all depended upon the blip on the screen, as the clockwork motion of the round screen revealed the positioning of the enemy vessel as the ghostly residue of existence left behind one’s presence, if only for a brief moment in time.
It is, in many ways, a metaphor for all lives; as merely a blip on a screen, and whether we are noticed, to what extent, by whom, and if one’s location deserves the catapult of a depth charge, or to be ignored as not warranting an adversarial response.
That is often how Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers contend with a medical or health condition which threatens to cut short one’s career with the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service: Has enough of a blip been made? Will a greater blip, or a longer presence of that ghostly residue on the clock-like screen, make up for the difference of extinguishment of existence?
There are those who enter a room quietly, and leave without notice; others, who must make a splash with each entrance, and falter in the exit because they have extended their welcome beyond polite niceties; and still others, who refuse to leave until formal recognition has been wrought from gated societies of diminished returns. Which is preferable — a blip which returns with a detonating device, or barely a yawn with the resulting quietude of an unnoticed exit?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates a filing with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal Worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, a OPM Disability Retirement application — the question of being noticed or leaving a lasting mark is often a subconscious pull which unknowingly damages or delays.
But like the submarine in those old films, it is always the capacity and ability to control that moment of anxiety and fear which propels the successful endeavor of formulating an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; and lest we forget, avoidance of the depth charge is just an indicator of how much of a blip we really were, and not a precursor of what ghostly residues the Federal or Postal worker may become on the clockwork screen for the future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire