The root word itself stands for the state of being prior to the ordering of the universe – either by the hand of God or through natural evolution; or, if you are a Get Smart fan, it is spelled somewhat differently – KAOS – and is actually not an acronym that stands for anything, but is an international organization set to do evil that only Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 and his partner Agent 99 can prevent from accomplishing their terrible deeds; or, if you are an engineer, you may know the acronym as standing for “Knowledge Acquisition in Automated Specification”.
In any of the events, the state of Being otherwise recognized as “Chaos” (or its alternative spelling, KAOS) is identified as something unwelcoming, insidious and to be forever avoided. Yet, life brings about such states from time to time, as if to remind us that order, sequence, linear models of livelihoods and pristine beauties of uninterrupted serenity are rare in the discourse of nature’s continuum.
Chaotic interludes tend to rear its ugly head just when things seem to be going smoother; when we least expect it; when the quietude of our lives seem in perfect balance; then the disaster, the disordering impact, the jumbling-up and shaking it all about comes crashing like thunder in the night to awaken us with a start. A start? To do what?
Perhaps as a test; as a challenge; to rethink the priorities of our lives; and to remind us that life is not a matter of slumber and remaining in a constant state of stupor and repetitive thoughtlessness, but a chasm of necessity mandating daily focus, concentration and attention to the important things around us. Maybe we were becoming too complacent; perhaps the monotony of habit was making of us all bores to be avoided; or, more likely, we were just getting steeped into the ego of our own self-centeredness.
Whatever the reason, chaotic interludes tend to hit us in bumps and pushes, sort of like standing in a line to get into a movie theater or on the waiting list for a restaurant, and suddenly an earthquake hits the area, or a robber comes running out of the establishment and pushing you onto the street where oncoming traffic busily spins its wheels, or more commonly, you are diagnosed with an unexpected medical condition, and that medical condition becomes a slowly deteriorating, progressively debilitating state of Being.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact the capacity and ability to perform the essential elements of one’s position with the Federal Government or Postal Facility in ways that clearly show that you cannot do the job anymore, the concept of chaotic interludes is nothing new. The real question is: What to do about it?
One option is to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. That’s the thing about chaotic interludes; the options available are often limited; but out of the chaos that ensues, what is often important is to recognize the problem and tackle the issue in the best possible manner.
Otherwise, call Maxwell Smart and hope that his shoe-phone is in good working order.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire