Most of us fall into that category; rarely is there a person of “outstanding” qualities where a string of superlatives is deservedly ascribed. This, despite a generation or so of children in schools being told that “every child is special” and that if you put your mind to it, you, too, can accomplish great things.
No, one may not be the star athlete, or even a starting one; or be talented in music such that one is accepted into some named consortium, or even be recognized for work in everyday, common settings. Yet, we all agree that it is “important” to give compliments, assign praise and shower accolades upon others, if only to ensure the healthy developmental aspects of the human ego.
Then, of course, there are those who “act up” for various reasons, and psychologists will speak about the yearning for an identification, the need for an outward showing of love, and how a person “acted out” of a need for expression, from frustration or sought-out recognition. Is that what we all mean when that sudden terrorist act occurs and we hear the constancy of the next-door neighbor: “He (or she) was such a quiet, good neighbor. Who would have thought?”
Is there really such a person? What if an individual grows up and wanders throughout life never receiving any recognition of any sort – would that person end up being a healthy, well-adjusted, well-rounded and contributing individual? Like unnamed tombs left for the weeds to overshadow in abandoned backyards of churches left to rot, can a person become a “person” and fulfill his or her “personhood” even if no one ever recognizes or otherwise points out such a person for some individualized, focus variant of an accomplishment seen?
Yet, such people are what are grouped into a faceless amalgamation as the “backbone” of a country, are we not? Of those quiet, unassuming individuals who just work quietly, go about their business and work out the daily problems of the day, while those “heralded” individuals take the credit, appear on television and get their 15 seconds of fame in the world.
In this Kardashian-based universe where appearance trumps reality, the old philosophical arguments of Platonic Forms as opposed to the irrelevance of surface-realities, no longer applies. The world has become a format (or, more appropriately, a floor-mat) of topsy-turvy indulgences.
For the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, where 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, the whole issue about being an “unheralded individual” is probably nothing new.
For, once the Federal agency or Postal facility sees an individual as “that one with a medical condition”, the entire outlook changes and the person with the medical condition suddenly becomes the proverbial persona non grata, the one relegated to the corner desk facing a wall, or otherwise shunned by the agency, the Postal facility and all coworkers besides.
Somehow, that is the “true” accommodation – to shun and ignore a “problem child”. Well, you certainly are, at least, getting your fair share of recognition, now. However, recognition of that sort can be dispensed with, and the best way to do that is to prepare, formulate and file an effective 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. That way, you can fulfill your fullest potential by becoming one of millions of unheralded individuals. Welcome to the club.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Disability Retirement Attorney