We don’t have people saying such pithy or inane things, anymore, and the death of the metaphor is the fault of Google. And, of course, the Weather Channel and the Smart Phone apps that give us the updated information concerning that which we can see for ourselves.
Who ever talks that way, anymore? “The dark clouds are gathering” – a metaphor for trouble brewing, problems arising or bad people getting together to engage in no good deeds. To which everyone whips out their Smart Phones and checks the most updated forecast, using the Weather Channel app that everyone has already downloaded onto their phones, and in unison respond: “No it’s not; today is only partly sunny, then tomorrow there is a 20% chance of rain and the temperature is…” “No, no, no…that is not what I meant by saying that the dark clouds are gathering. What I mean is…” And you are met with blank stares by the horde of millennials who speak a foreign language, fail to understand the generation before the Internet or Smart Phones, and don’t even own a landline. What, is that even possible?
Time was once upon a millennium, when farmers felt the bones ache from the gathering storm; that one could sniff the winds of changed directions; and noting the behavior of rabbits, birds and the mutterings of crows in the bushes, the gathering clouds would be discerned as patterns of nature’s calling. Technology has its place and uses, but in the end, it dulls the instincts that have survived and helped human beings to last for want of realization of a civilization lost in the silent graveyards of forgotten memories.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job duties, the “gathering clouds” is often hinted by the behavior of coworkers, supervisors, and other agency officials; of the tone and tenor of attitudes abounding; and though the adverse action or initiation of a PIP may appear to come as a surprise, you knew it was coming long before, just as you knew that you needed to start the process of the filing a Federal Disability Retirement application long before the time made it into an urgency, or even an emergency.
The gather clouds, no matter how much we may try to stamp out the underlying instinct felt, is still the same the world around; we just have a better way of suppressing it than in countries less technologically sophisticated.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire