We can always quibble about what constitutes a “mistake” — but, generally, there are circumstances described which fall into the center of the conceptual definition, those which border on the periphery, and then the remainder which, while having a consensus that they stray outside of the boundaries, nevertheless are often described as a “mistake”, but only in a retrospective manner.
Examples: A man is driving down a road and makes a left turn instead of a right. He thought he knew where he was going, but clearly did not. He made a mistake. A clerk in an ice cream store thought the customer said, “Give me a scoop of Godzilla Ice Cream” — a specialty of the shop comprised of chocolate and large fudge bits. Instead, the customer had said, “Give me a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.” In the din of the noisiness, the clerk misheard and made a mistake.
An individual purchases some stolen items from a street vendor. She suspects that they are stolen, but because of the extraordinary price for which the items are aggregately offered, represses such thoughts and agrees to the purchase. Later, the police raid the woman’s home and confiscate the property. Was it a “mistake”? In what way?
Here are several: It was a mistake to repress the suspicions aroused; it was a mistake to purchase such items from a street vendor; it was a mistake to fail to connect the dots of illogic; but had the person never been caught, and the value of the items later increased a hundredfold and was legitimately sold at Sothebys for an eye-opening profit, would the transaction be characterized as a “mistake”?
And finally: A similar transactional relationship; but let’s change the hypothetical somewhat. In the new scenario, the person about to engage in the transaction asks for advice before concluding the deal. Everyone tells him, “Don’t do it. It is clearly fenced goods.” A friend — a retired police officer — gives the following advice: “You know it’s gotta be stolen. You can be arrested for participating in receiving of stolen goods. Don’t do it.” Multiple family members say t he same thing. The person goes ahead and attempts to close the deal and, in the process, the police raid the establishment, charge the individual and place him in jail. Was it a “mistake”?
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 — don’t make the mistake of unrecognized scenarios.
Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and avoid those “mistakes” which are clearly there and which can — and will — defeat a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Lawyer