It is when the hushed voices pause as you pass by the proverbial water cooler where gossip is abandoned and conversations suddenly and abruptly cease; then, when distance is the safety net like the arc of flight envisioned by species in the wild, those coworkers nod, shake their heads and disperse like so many rats around a decaying carcass on the roadside until the oncoming truck rumbles close enough to sound an alarm.
There are whispers that echo and reverberate, and it is only when the sounds bounce back from the caves of despair does it finally dawn upon the soul it effects: Those whispers are of a former self who, as a Federal or Postal employee, blazed new trails, always came early and left late, and never shirked responsibility in promoting the efficiency of the Federal Service.
The skeleton of that former self remains; and now, but for the whispers that howl like the winter winds across plains of abandoned and forsaken times, those voices begin to sound like the din of unlikely foes. What ever happened to that person who once lead the charge of the cavalry forward in each and every fight?
Health deteriorates, and over time, age and health become the combined enemy of youthful vigor that sprouted in innocence of antiquity in former times now gone.
When those whispers of a former self begin to speak, it may be time to begin to prepare, formulate and file a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS offset, with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, lest the whispers of a former self remain to be subjected to further humiliation, like an unceremonious termination without applause or fanfare.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire