We have all heard the boast: “I do more work in an hour than most people do in a week”; “I earn the wages of 10 people before breakfast”; “I do twice the work for half the pay”; and on and on. The plain fact is that each individual, no matter the self-interested tropes of inane contradictions, performs the quantitative and qualitative labor of that singular effort, and no more.
Some may meet greater production quotas; others may appear to make significantly faster headway into concluding projects and assignments; but the boast of self-worth is nothing more than a comparative analysis which ultimately fails when proper relative proportionality is conducted; there are always others whom you have not met, hardly know, or will likely never encounter, whose competence outshines the vast and endless ego of your own self-assessment.
Where does such self-delusion originate? And are there more such self-assurances in modernity than times of yore, when the steady hand of methodical progression marked the greater component of accomplishment than the technological rapidity of keyboard firing squads? Or, of that other boast that one’s work has already been completed an hour into a workday, while others move in segments of slow motion, like a reel of film stuck in the ink spot of eternal delay? What ever happened to the idea of a team effort, a communal approach, or even of a collective combine of aggregate accomplishments, where personal valor and individual recognition is sacrificed for the greater whole?
In modernity, in this millennial, during these self-aggrandized times, the focus of vulnerability is based upon an egocentric mirror of reflective selfishness. As one has been taught throughout grammar school and higher education that the war hero is merely likened to a sports hero, where the term “courage” is another fungible word that can be applied as much to the battlefield as to a spectator sport of button-pushing, so the worth of an individual is relatively compared to a production quota, like mere means to the end of a drama.
In the administrative law of Federal Disability Retirement, that sense of worth is greatly diminished and deliberatively demeaned by the hostile attitude towards a Federal or Postal employee with a medical condition. Don’t think that the years of productive accomplishments touted previously will mean a farthing’s worth of reserved good will; it means nothing. What is done today and promised tomorrow are the two components of meaningful discourse; any delay or doubt evinced by one’s medical condition, is but a red-light indicator for termination or administrative sanctions.
For Federal and Postal employees who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is indeed a means to an end – to escape the growing boast of that Supervisor or Manager who believes that the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition is the same one who hinders by being an obstacle of existence for doing the work of 10 people, when in fact he or she is merely one of a greater collective effort, nor more than the worth of the dismissive “you”.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire