It is to fix or mend, often applying to inanimate objects in attempting to return it to a state of existence prior to damage or defective manifestation. We repair cars and upholsteries; lawn mowers are good candidates, and watches and anachronistic clocks of antiquity represent a special and technical requirement of expertise well beyond the facial simplicity of the unspeaking time teller.
It is that inner working of complexity which requires one to surrender a thing of incalculable beauty to a stranger with a mysterious ocular eye piece; like some futuristic member of the Jedi Order whose knowledge of the mechanical turbulences comprised of mainsprings, pendulums, balance wheels and pinions, with a dose of magic sprinkled by the wizard of time, hands trembling over the cauldron of sorcery with mumblings of necromancy and prophetic divinations. It is the face of the clock or watch which makes its appearance one of beatific simplicity; the ugly inner workings are hidden, covered, concealed by the skin of time and the scales of infinity.
Humans are like that. Though organic in nature, it is perhaps the complexity which is concealed that requires a wizardry beyond mediocrity in order to repair.
The stresses of the world impinging daily in incremental insidiousness, slowly and progressively destroying and gnawing at the internal mechanisms of complex functioning; until, one day, the spring which kept the timepiece accurate, or the pendulum which swayed to and fro in a symphony of monotonous rhythm, snaps suddenly to explode upon the surface of seeming quietude.
In common parlance, we say that he went crazy, or “postal”, or perhaps in more sublime instances of coordinated conspiracies, that a person simply could not take it any more. Whatever the linguistic characterizations, responsibility for the damage to the time piece is never directly attributed; those who created the hostile work environment dissipate, and the sorcery of responsibility is magically disbursed into a thousand corners of ratholes to where such scoundrels scurry.
For Federal and Postal employees, whether under FERS or CSRS, there is always the option of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in order to escape the inevitable march of time which deteriorates. It is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal employees. It is not an escape hatch; it is not a cop-out; it is a necessity for those Federal and Postal workers who have dedicated themselves throughout all of these years, but have come to a point of crisis where one’s medical condition has begun to erupt through the surface of concealment, and has impacted one’s ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job.
Just as modern technology and the worldly sophistication of today no longer relies upon the sorcery of incantations over bubbling cauldrons of mysterious but sweet-smelling ingredients, so it is often the failings of our own predilections of behavior which prevent us from moving forward towards that which is best for us. And like the time piece which needs the ocular eye managed by a futuristic Order of the Jedi, so the Federal or Postal employee needing Federal Disability Retirement may require the expertise of the appropriate counsel of choice.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire