Ducks by the pond; out in the fields of wheat and grain; of picturesque paintings of a scene upon the countryside; in parks and near still waters; or on a farm where the pastoral beauty of serenity of times now gone forever, replaced by metal, concrete, the noise of technology and the sniping fire of man’s presence.
Then, 2 ducks — presumably male and female — land upon a winter’s edge in a suburban neighborhood, and make their nesting place for a fortnight’s term. They stay. They wander about between hedge groves that splinter and divide, and where fences left untended allow for lines of ownership to remain fallow with the decay of summer’s drought.
The people mill about and recognize their presence, and over time a truce remains where delight of settings long forgotten pace themselves with life’s forlorn smile that yes, perhaps time has lost upon the space of unrelenting callousness, where even the ducks out of place can no longer bring back the memories of youthful days when summer was but the sands of timeless waves when laughter boiled over and pleasures were yet innocent in days beyond the garden of Eden’s gates.
And we realize that, like the ducks left out of place who came mistakenly to believe that the pastoral interludes of gardens tended in the manicured lawns of suburbia represented the quietude of yesterday’s forests and streams allowing for peace upon a winter’s day, we are the misfits of a universe left to toil in the meandering thoughtlessness of cruelty’s longing.
Then, one night, the crazy neighbor whom everyone shunned, came out in the midst of night’s yawn and shot them both with a single shotgun blast. The ducks out of place were left to remain in the misery of their misunderstanding, that somehow nature and man could find a compromise, when compromise’s twilight had long since been forgotten.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, preparing a 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 — becomes a necessity when you begin to recognize that, like ducks out of place, you have become the “odd man out” within a Federal agency or the Postal Service that deems you to no longer be “worth” it.
Whatever the “it” is, you have become the castigated castaway that becomes the focal point of distrust and harassment. Do not wait to hope that accommodations will be forthcoming; in the setting of a Federal Agency or the Postal Service, the pastoral picture of a helpful agency is rare and indifferent, and the best way forward is to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, submitted to OPM in order to avoid the fate of those ducks out of place.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire