Everything has a price, whether in terms of monetized payments or through labor, effort, worry and loss of peaceful interludes. What expansive periods of our lives do we engage and assign to “wasted” time that must be discarded, forgotten and left beside? What is the price we pay to maintain the status quo, even though we know that such clinging to a lack of change is merely extending the wastefulness of our own making?
Change is something that most of us resist. Yes, we hear of, read about, or otherwise are told about “venture capitalists” or gamblers who throw the dice on everything — their future, their stability, their own sense of worth, whether net or paid for in dreams lost; of how you cannot know success until you first experience the bitter taste of failure, and how the most successful of men and women in the world failed miserable many times over until that moment of victory and triumph.
The ordinary human being, however, is either unwilling to, or otherwise unmotivated in any path towards self-destruction, or the potential for such disastrous outcomes whether real, dreamed, imagined or feared. The fact is that there is always a price to pay whether or not one acts affirmatively, or doesn’t act at all.
The former places the burden of identifiable responsibility squarely upon the proverbial shoulders of the acting agent; the latter — of “sitting tight”, not doing anything, and remaining the perennial benchwarmer who merely watches and observes as the world passes by — can always defer any personal responsibility and counter that it was “circumstances beyond my control” or that “fate had its rueful day”, or other such indifferences of neutrality.
The reality, however, is that the price of status quo is often just as expensive as that of affirmatively acting; we just fail to see it by conveniently engaging in language games that avoid such recognition of such consequences resulting from inaction.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may be the best alternative to paying the continuing price of status quo. What cost?
Well — the enduring of the medical condition; the constant harassment at work; the increasing pressure of disciplinary procedures; and much more, besides. That is the price of status quo. And of affirmatively moving forward with a Federal Disability Retirement application? It, too, must pay a steep price — of engaging a complex administrative and legal process; of facing the chance of a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; of entering into a surreal universe of bureaucratic morass.
But everything has a price to pay — whether of status quo or of affirmative movement; it is up to the Federal or Postal employee as to whether the end-product is worth that price.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Medical Disability Retirement Attorney