Whether impatience is a uniquely American characteristic (a flawed one?) or is merely something inherently inseparable from the human species generally is a debate for anthropologists and similar academic theoreticians to engage; but in any event, it does appear to pervade the American character in pervasive plenitude.
We are impatient about almost everything — and appear to be willing to abandon all “old ways” in favor of the “new”. This leads to some disastrous results — as in our impatience for conflicts that last too long and our quick willingness to abandon our efforts because our goals were neither quickly nor easily achieved.
The Long Slog is always problematic for the impatient — for, it means that we must commit time and resources for periods beyond a murky, endless timeframe. How long something takes cannot always be clearly quantified, and often the anticipated length must be ignored and, instead, achievement must be measured not in terms of time, but in light of merely remaining and showing a steadfast commitment to honoring a timeless commitment.
This is often difficult because other thoughts begin to intrude during the endless lull — Are we wasting our time? What if we are throwing away good money after bad (a very common thought); What if we never achieve our goal? And many more such concerns, besides. How do we counter the natural concerns of the Long Slog?
First, by clarifying at the outset one’s commitment to a process, and recognizing that the stated goal can only be achieved without regard to time, and Secondly, to accept that any timeframe anticipated should be multiplied by a factor of 10.
Commitment is a difficult value to uphold, and that is why a marriage covenant is so often broken — for, who can even conceive of honoring a promise “Till death do us part” without knowing the particulars of what a lifetime will entail? All that goes into a “lifetime” — of joys and sorrows, of happiness, suddenly overshadowed by sickness and tragedies unforeseen — in short, the normal history of all of mankind.
Likewise, when a Federal or a Postal employee decides to engage in the process of preparing, formulating, and filing a Federal Disability Retirement under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), one must mentally prepare for the Long Slog. It is a long and arduous, complicated bureaucratic process involving potentially 3 stages, and with an “almost certainty” of an initial denial from OPM no matter how well-crafted and fully documented the initial filing is composed.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.