What is it about a phrase that predictably tells us about the mood, content or direction of the mindset? If a person begins with, “Well, it all began when…” — we will often stifle a yawn, try to make excuses and begin heading for the exits. Self-aggrandizing, prefatory remarks that set the stage for a narrative delineation that includes private details of individual lives often bore the pants off of most people, and yet many will “tell all”, as if such intimate details trigger a prurient interest within each of us.
Then, of course, there is the opposite, as in: “In the end…”. What fills in the ellipses? In the end…the world will all go to the trash bin of history’s footnotes; In the end…we all die, anyway? Such opening phrases and closing remarks leave out the vast chasm of filling in “the middle”, of course. How does a story begin, tell the narrative in an interesting manner in “the middle” and end with a bang? That is the problem, isn’t it? Most of us don’t have a clue as to how to tell an interesting tale.
And what about non-fiction — of a historical narrative or of a biography? What makes for an interesting “telling” of it — of what details of a person’s life; what incidents should be included? What peripheral, tangential details will make for an interesting and engaging read? Is a biography incomplete if the author leaves out certain details, or does it matter? What “events” are presumed and should therefore be excluded, and can it really be said that certain excluded moments are considered to be excluded at all?
For example, it is presumed that a person goes to the bathroom a few times a day, at least — but what if, during the narrative of a biography or a historical period, such activities are never mentioned? Can we call up the author and demand to know why such historical “facts” were excluded from the biography of, say, an important figure?
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, it may be necessary to begin to formulate an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
In preparing the narrative story of one’s medical condition, it is important to convey the essential “story” — a historical account; a prefatory introduction; a “middle”; and an “In the end…”.
What details to include; the choice of words; whether in the first-person or 3rd-person narrative; of what legal arguments to include; whether to “exclude” certain details without being charged with “falsifying” a claim, etc. — these are all important considerations in the proper, complete and sufficient preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, and it is vitally important to do it “the right way” when preparing SF 3112A — the core and essence of a FERS Disability Retirement claim — which, in the end, is the story of your tale that needs to be told.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire