The reference is likely outdated. One doesn’t hear of the phrase, anymore, that “X is like an albatross around my neck.” If it is referenced at all, one is likely to witness everyone standing around within earshot to whip out their smartphones and Google it, to find: Literally a large sea bird.
The phrase alludes to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which a sailor who shoots a friendly albatross is forced to wear its carcass around his neck as punishment. But who reads Coleridge, anymore, leaving aside poetry as a genre outmoded in an age where entertainment and leisure must by necessity be at the click of a button or within the scrolling universe of a Smartphone?
The antiquated reference is an allusion (as opposed to an “illusion”) — you know, the poet’s attempt at painting a word picture of something else by referencing a certain concept; i.e., that literary device banned in SATs now because it became too difficult a subject to bear — is of something that brings about bad luck, or of negative consequences resulting from something we have done or an event which has caused things to turn against us.
Medical conditions can become an albatross around our necks; as our health progressively declines, it becomes a greater weight and burden because of the impact it has upon our ability to work. For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from the albatross of a medical condition, it may be time to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.
When one’s medical condition becomes an albatross which begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, whether as an allusion or an illusion that the medical condition will resolve itself, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity beyond the poet’s representation; it becomes a reality which must be attended to.
Robert R. McGill, Attorney