Watching birds fly and cavort around a bird-feeder, one realizes that the term as applied to human conduct is not too far from the reality of the natural order of things. There is, indeed, a “pecking order” in the world of birds and fowls aflight; it has to do with size, aggression, quickness and desire to survive. In other words, how birds behave is not too far afield from the way in which humans interact.
As children being thrown together in various institutions called “public schools”, we all recognize the concept of “the pecking order” – the sequence of priorities, of who dominates, which cliques attain a level of status and recognition, what is allowed and not, where one is invited to enter before or after others; it is the purest form of Darwinian natural selection, no matter what societal and cosmetic impediments and safeguards are put in place in order to engage in social engineering of one sort or another.
People think that this pecking order ends upon graduating from public school; that, somehow, release from high school ends this natural order of survival only for the fittest. Yet, such pecking orders continue throughout – college; the military; the workplace; families. They all require a pecking order of one kind or another, precisely because it is “natural” and the selection process is innately driven.
In the fowl world – both as “foul” and “fowl” – birds get to feed from the best and choicest sources based upon size, aggressiveness, and bravado displayed in standing one’s ground. It is often the same with the human world of foul interactions, despite our claim to having become “civilized” and sophisticated, beyond reproach, somehow now asserting our independence and detachment from the genetically determined patterns of behavior.
More and more, however, it becomes clear that we are never exempted from the essence of our natures. Aristotle may have asserted the grand stature of man with his rationality and capacity to cogitate, but the reality is that the ancient Greek civilization would soon become overpowered and dominated by the most basest of human instincts – of conquering by might and strength.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to manifest, to reveal, to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, it becomes clear that the old “pecking order” approach again will dominate.
Federal agencies and the Postal Service will assert its cold dominance and indifference to the weak of this world, and weakness is never shown with greater vulnerability than when one must admit that he or she suffers from a medical condition. Just as the fowls begin to take advantage of shown weaknesses in the pecking order of Darwinian natural, so Federal Agencies and U.S. Postal facilities show no remorse in treating their workers who show weakness with cruelty and aggressive lack of empathy.
Filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is an aggressive step to “fight back” against the rise of the pecking order that is, unfortunately, an inevitable consequences of who we are and continue to be.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire