We often hear in geopolitical circles about international relations taking a fresh turn because of a metaphorical and figurative ”reset” button which has been pushed.
Whether any substantive changes have taken place; regardless of an alteration in the behavior of one or both parties; the important event which seems to predominate in such declarations of a new partnership or alliance, is that the words which are spoken are now rearranged, and the harsh language of previous decades, or perhaps not even a fortnight ago, reflects a forgiven past with happy days ahead.
Often, however, the lack of substantive change manifests itself quite quickly, as words have the extent of impact only within the context of that momentary declaration of purpose. Beyond the statement itself, unless the alteration itself is imposed upon the substantive behavior of the individual, group, entity or country, the reality of an unchanged heart slowly reveals its true nature as circumstances test the essence of who or what a person or country truly represents.
The real problem with the concept of a “reset” button is that it only works if both parties to an accord push the metaphorical object. Eagerness by one side to declare the change of relationship is often the rule, while the “other” party who is the one who really needs the resetting of behavior stands by in silent indifference with a wry smile. Ultimately, it is the need for change which underlies the entire resetting of a relationship.
For Federal and Postal employees who have come to a point in their career where a medical condition continues to impact the ability to perform the essential elements of their job and positional duties, the proposal and imposition of adverse actions, such as a Performance Improvement Plan (commonly known as a “PIP”); suspensions; letters of reprimands; Leave Usage Restrictions; or Proposed Removals — all are actions by the agency which reveal that a resetting of the relationship between the agency and the individual is sorely in need.
The ultimate tool for that resetting of the relationship, is for the Federal and Postal employee to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS. While taking such a step may not alter the behavior of the agency, it at least changes the relationship by letting the agency know that the underlying medical condition is the primary cause for the deterioration of the employer/employee relationship, and further, that the severing of ties will be the ultimate outcome.
Moreover, in the case of an OPM Disability Retirement, the pushing of the reset button is never to change the relationship for the benefit of the agency, but merely to change the relationship itself in order for the Federal or Postal employee to attend to the substantive importance of one’s health and wellbeing.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire