How many losses must one accumulate before being deemed a “loser”?
Was it just yesterday that Cal Ripken, Jr. won with the Baltimore Orioles in 1983, after a mere couple of years in the minors, but with that World Series ring on his finger, would then see decades of losses mount as a result of poor decisions in trading players, acquiring “has beens” and being in the unfortunate AL East where the Yankees and the Red Sox seem always to vie for the top tier of the elect?
Can a team win a World Series one year, then go on for thirty-plus years without ever winning one again, and yet be deemed “a winner”? Or, can one always pause, give a grin, and say, “Yeah, but we were winners in 1983!”
Does one win wipe out an avalanche of losses such that the singularity of glory negates the overwhelming statistical significance of unending disappointments? Or, what of the person who once had a promising career, but through a series of unfortunate circumstances considered by most to be no fault of his or her own, cannot quite achieve that level of promises dreamed of but never materialized?
Do we, in our own minds, create conditions which are impossible to attain, and then deem those unreachable goals as “losses” despite the artificial nature of the criteria imposed? Do losses mount and exponentially aggregate because failure seeks after failure, and somehow the subsequent one is a natural consequence, inevitably by inherent nature, of the previous one?
Does bad luck come in bunches because of some Law of Nature, or is it just in our imagination that it seems so? Are much of losses artificially created — i.e., we set the proverbial “goal post” in our own minds, then miss the metaphorical field goal and become despondent over the “loss” created within our own imagination within contextual circumstances fantasized that have no connection to objective reality?
For Federal and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, that sense of “loss” can be an admixture of both objective reality and subjective, artificial creations.
The medical condition itself is an “objective” loss; but the Agency or the Postal Service’s efforts to compound the adversarial circumstances can be created in an ad hoc manner, where there are no rules or criteria to follow except upon the whim of the supervisor or the department’s reactionary intuition. The interruption to one’s career; the constant struggle with a chronic medical condition; of being forced to deal with deteriorating health — these are all real “losses”.
On the other hand, adversarial initiations by one’s Federal Agency or the Postal Service — these, too, are “real” losses, though artificially created and unnecessary, in many instances.
Both must be dealt with when preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset — but the fact that one must “deal with” so many “losses” does not, in the end, make one a loser.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire