Are there such things, or just the boorish attitudes of impatient whims? Are adages, quips and kernels of wisdom never perceived by eyes afresh, or do tales told ever-incessantly by husbands through the course of lasting marriages, or by grandpa at each visit to the chloroform-smelling nursing homes where coughs and sputtering are interrupted by stories regurgitated between gasps filled with oxygenated rasping, merely bore us all? Of timeworn tales – where do they come from? When do they end?
Is there a garbage heap of stories no longer told that old men and silent women visit, and leave behind the narratives no one wants to listen to, anymore? Is it that we no longer have the time, nor the patience, to act “as if” for the benefit of old geezers and pitiable wheezers and instead, rudely interrupt when the tale begins, by saying, “Now, now, you’ve already told that one – many times”?
Yet, a perkiness of interest, a raised eyebrow, and a playful wink to the relative across the table; and the kindness shown to the children at the table, despite the 50th or 100th time told, that we could spend the time together, take the same monotony of predictability, but turn it into an occasion of joy “just because” – just because the person telling it is worthy, and we show how much we value life’s dignity above time “wasted” by the effort we invest upon the individuals we claim to care for.
We have no time for pity; no energy left for patience; and certainly, no stamina remaining for moments beyond our pleasurable self-fulfilling wants and desires. That is why, when a Federal or Postal employee prepares one’s Federal Disability Retirement application, with the Statement of Disability on SF 3112A, along with the evidence of supportive records and medical narratives, there is no hush of anticipation by Agency supervisors, managers or coworkers. Yours is merely another timeworn tale that they want to quickly bypass.
But the point, of course, is to get the “Administrative Specialist” at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management – the agency that makes all decisions on a Federal Disability Retirement application – to see beyond that timeworn tale of one’s medical condition, disability, and inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job. For, that Administrative Specialist is the “hard one” to persuade – having read thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands of such timeworn tales. It is thus the job of an attorney who has done this many times, who possesses the power of words in the narration of a compelling tale, that often makes the subtle but necessary difference.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire