Ogawa’s novel, The Memory Police, is a dystopian narrative with an interesting theme: How long do memories last upon the disappearance of a person or thing?
In the novel itself, of course, the memory is somehow erased concurrently with the disappearance of the entity; but in real life, how long are we able to hold onto a cherished memory — of a person whom we were fond of; of an event or occurrence which was significant in our lives; of an object no longer in use?
Who remembers, for instance, those “bag phones” that we plugged into the cigarette lighter of our car? Or of days when a horse was the only mode of transportation? Is the art of knitting quickly vanishing because people no longer have the time to engage in an activity which not only takes time, but requires patience and sustained sedentary focus? And even of days — if all calendars and indicia of days marked and months delineated segments were to vanish, how long would we be able to retain a memory of “time”?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the memory of time is often a vanishing of that time before the medical condition began to have its impact upon you. There was a time before the medical condition; now and for the immediate future, it is the focus upon that medical condition which seems to dominate everything.
Consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and begin to consider a time before, when the Memory of Time was of a time when your Federal or Postal career was not dominated by a memory of constant harassment by your agency or the Postal Service.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire