Peel an orange, and you have the fruit; skin a nut, and the unmasked food is revealed; but how does one get to the essence of a person? Schools do it repetitively; job interviews count on it; security clearances rely upon it. Life is one set of tests after another; and whether through formalized questions designed to reveal the extent of rote knowledge, or of more subtle encounters to discover one’s character, the attempt to unravel the essence of an individual comes in many forms, in multitudinous appearances, and in engagements which never fully define the person tested.
Some see it as merely a necessary irritant; others, as a challenge to be faced with relish; and still others, an angst to be avoided, like the proverbial plague which leaves scars of motley disfigurement to the heart of one’s soul. Whether to avoid or to directly confront, life presents a series of challenges, and the test of relevance is not necessarily the score to achieve, but rather the responsiveness which engenders cause.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are daily “tested” because of a medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties with the job requirements of the Federal or Postal employment, the issue becomes one of survival, or not. At some point, the test itself becomes irrelevant, and must be replaced altogether. Whether the agency views it as such — or, more appropriately, it has now turned into harassment and hostility — the basis of such testing becomes an absurdity.
That is when the Federal or Postal employee, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, must consider filing for Federal Employee Disability Retirement benefits. There again, it is likened to another “test” to be faced and undertaken. For, the bureaucratic morass which must be tolerated is inextricable entangled with the preparation, formulation, proving and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement case, where the evidence must be gathered, the test of viability of the case itself becomes of concern, and the next steps in encountering and facing the “test of life” must be faced. Oh, but that life would refrain from the constancy of death, taxes and tests.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire