How many times (stated in the numerical sense) do we watch the time (in the alternative sense)? Do we waste time by keeping an eye on time, or is it prudent because it forces us to maintain a “schedule” or mandate a strict adherence to a regimen of activities to be performed, chores to have accomplished and work to be completed? Does watching time save time or merely waste it?
Say a person keeps looking at his watch (or is this in and of itself an anachronism, now, as everyone merely lights up the smart phone which has made wrist watches outmoded?), and you notice that he does so systematically — say, every 5 – 10 minutes. Then, at precisely 5 o’clock, he gets up from his desk, puts on his coat and leaves the office. You realize that for the past hour, all that this person had been doing was to check the time in anticipation of leaving at a certain time. Whether any actual work was completed; whether the watching of time contributed to any productivity, etc., is of relevance, are they not?
For, the time watcher watches the time pass, and it matters as to the reason underlying the very watching of time. It one watches the time in order to meet a deadline, say, or pace one’s self in a race, etc., then does it make it more productive than if one simply waits for the last hour to pass in order to go on to something else?
Time watching is certainly something which we all do, but as to its usefulness will often depend upon the reason why it is engaged — as in, for “negative” purposes, like “passing the time” in order for a specific moment to arrive, or for “positive” reasons, as in monitoring the passing of time while engaging in a certain type of activity, etc. The harmless activity of time watching becomes magnified in exaggerated form when the very “watching” itself becomes the central activity — sort of like the notion of “we live with the expectation of dying”.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who realize that one’s times are “numbered” (both in the numerical sense as well as in a metaphorical usage) because of one’s medical condition that 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 time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Whether the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal Service worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the watchful time watcher who watches as others whittle away the time wondering whether the next harassing initiation of an administrative sanction will be imposed by the agency, or of the watchful waiting to see if you fail to meet the standards of an imposed PIP — watching the time pass to see if you can make it to retirement age or time-in-service computation is no way to live.
If a medical condition is impacting your ability to perform the essential elements of your job, it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. It is time — or past the time — to merely think about it; rather, it is now time to act, and not remain as a passive time watcher, but to take the reigns of time and become the time watcher with a purpose.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire