Some are systematically exterminated; others, kept by organic farmers for their predatory advantages, including killing others; and still others are quickly brushed off as pesky little creatures not necessarily bothersome in numbers or even in appearance, but because “bugs” are simply not tolerated in an antiseptic universe where good order and neatness cannot include the appearance of a creature that may do nothing but crawl, creep and fly about in the open space of a garden, within a house or along the fence posts.
They have become a generic “catch-all” phrase that includes anything that moves about that is smaller than a rodent and larger than a speck of dust. We have, additionally, transferred the sense of anathema in a more metaphorical manner, as in “bugs” in computers or in other appliances that fail to work properly, as if the living bugs in the universe are equated with those imaginary deficiencies of human technological innovation. Then, there is the phrase, of course, of being worried about something, or having something bother one’s thoughts and invading the peace of one’s mind, as in the question, “What’s bugging you?”
We attribute and project from experiences we have had, and by analogy and metaphor transmit reputations that may never be deservedly ascribed. Bugs are, in the end, creatures that are avoided, entities that have a reputation encompassing something less than desirable, and for the most part, have become a focus for instincts to exterminate, no matter that they are environmentally positive and have contributed to the balance of nature for endless ages. And yet, we squash them without a second thought, brush them aside and swat at them to rid them from this universe.
They are, in many respects, tantamount to a microcosmic manner in which some people treat other and fellow human beings.
For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the very concept of the “bug” applies in so many small and almost insignificant ways, but we just don’t realize it. Has it “bugged” you that the Federal Agency or Postal facility mistreats you because of your medical condition? Are you considered now as nothing more than a pesky “bug” that irritates, and does the Agency wish to treat you as nothing more than a “bug” to be squashed if given half the opportunity?
Yet, despite having contributed to the mission of the Agency or the work of the Postal Service for all of these many years, just like the bugs that have made the environment better throughout, the Federal or Postal worker with a medical condition is considered expendable. It may be time to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire