Of course, one can argue that all mistakes, by their very definition, are “stupid”; but, of course, that would then make the entire concept differentiating between “mistakes” and “stupid mistakes” disappear, as the distinction between the bifurcated differences becomes one and the same.
It is a difficult concept to define; yet, we know when we or others have made them. When we make them, we slap our forehead and say, “Duh!” When another person makes one, we try to put a gentle cover over it — if we care at all for the person; if it was made by a child; when we know that the other person is “sensitive” to criticism, etc. — and try and say things like, “Oh, it’s okay, anyone could have made that mistake”. On the other hand, when it is made by someone whom we dislike, is arrogant or condescending (or all three), we get the joy of “rubbing it in” and say offhand things like, “Boy, not even stupid ol’ me would have made a mistake like that!”
“Stupid” mistakes are distinct from “common” errors; the former is made without thought, while the latter is often made with thought, but without knowing the inherent consequences contained.
For Federal employees and U.S Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, and where the medical condition may require the Federal or Postal employee to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM, one wants to — if at all possible — avoid not only the “common” mistakes, but the “stupid” ones, as well. Mistakes happen; we all make them; but the one mistake that cannot be corrected once a Federal Disability Retirement application is filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the one where “blinders” are placed upon OPM once OPM sees something.
It is thus important to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the “common” mistake turns out to be a “stupid” mistake that cannot be corrected.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire