When we break it, we become bombarded with looks of irritation, a pause filled with suspicious surprise. The quick, “Good-to-see-you-hope-you’re-doing-well” is meant as a quick conveyance of polite nothingness, and is the throw-away line that allows for the rhythm of a quick-paced society to retain its fast-lane of existence. You are not to respond except in a similarly empty manner, with a “Yes, nice-to-see-you-too”. To break the rhythm of normalcy is to interrupt with a real response; to say something like, “Actually, I am not doing too well. And since you have asked, let me tell you why…”.
Normalcy is the abnormal, and the norms and conventions that were once taken for granted have now been turned upside down and have become the abnormal, the irritating and the blade of rudeness.
In a time past and now gone for seemingly forever, there existed communities where people actually stopped and spoke to one another, showed some concern and exhibited some neighborly empathy. In modernity, we hide within the barricaded walls of our own secluded lives while declaring the number of “friends” we have on Facebook, though we haven’t met any of them nor actually known them in person. The blank slate of a computer screen or of our smartphone determines the emotional viability of our daily lives, and so the required rhythm of normalcy has become one of isolated disengagement from actual life.
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 required rhythm of normalcy is to act as if there is nothing wrong, when in fact there is much that is “not right”. Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and think about breaking the required rhythm of normalcy.
Robert R. McGill
FERS Disability Attorney