Watch the vultures float the currents of time, gliding high above, awaiting a trail of destruction behind. Universally, across the globe, they have similar outward appearances; with wide wingspans for the ability to soar and patiently await high above, watchful for death and decay to progressively come to fruition. Is it the scent of decay, or the fading gaze of death which attracts? Or, perhaps, weakness and state of debilitation has a natural aura which draws?
The weak among us becomes a magnet for prey; the scavengers of time become the savagery of timelessness. Despite our declaration for civility and sophistication, the brute essence of man comes to the fore when elements of weakness manifest. Sympathy and empathy constitute window dressings for civilization’s social contract; a concession to effeminate yearnings voice that of the spectacled class.
Look at the brutality of Federal agencies when once a Federal employee or a U.S. Postal worker announces an intent to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. Suddenly, the skies are filled with gliding wingspans of watchfulness. No one seemed to care before; now, the sunlight is blocked by widespread fans of feathery flurries.
Federal Disability Retirement is a rightful benefit which can be asserted by any and all Federal and Postal employees who have the minimum of Federal Service (18 months for those under FERS; 5 years for those under CSRS). But as with every contingency in life, there are residual consequences in filing for a benefit, and such resulting ends will often involve the hostility of the Federal agency, the sudden shying away by one’s coworkers, and a subtle (or not so hidden) loss of camaraderie among peers and supervisors.
But what are the choices? For the Federal and Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is the path to escaping the slow and progressive deterioration of one’s health condition.
That the vultures may circle during the wait, may be an inevitable consequence; what one wants to prevent, however, is for such creatures to land and begin the pecking process of maggot-laden flesh.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire