The “foreigner” reflects a dual-edged phenomena: on the one hand, the individual perceives the strangeness of his or her surroundings; on the other hand, those strangers from the “other” land may similarly view the foreigner with interest, suspicion, hesitation, etc.
It is a mutual encounter of cultural clashes. The singular traveler into untried waters would welcome a friendly face, and thus is often susceptible to criminals and scammers in foreign parts who prey upon unwary tourists. Within the context of the tourist industry, the “business” side of the industry wants to appear personal and attending to individualized needs, while at the same time dealing in large volumes through a bureaucracy of efficiency.
But being a “foreigner” can occur in one’s own country, too — as in the context of engaging an unknown entity, or an administrative process which is strange and different.
For the Federal and Postal Worker who has been a productive member of the Federal workforce for many years, it is a strange encounter indeed to have to contemplate filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. The entire administrative and bureaucratic process is like stepping onto a foreign land and trying to navigate the streets, towns and cities within the context of trying to understand a language heretofore unfamiliar.
Filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is an entrance into a land of peculiar and unknown foods and attractions. For the foreign traveler, it is often best to seek the guidance of a tour guide.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire