The Office of Personnel Management, as a Federal Agency, always maintains a “public face” of stating that they welcome inquiries and telephone calls to check on the status of a pending Disability Retirement application. Yet, we all know that Agencies, Departments and the personnel and offices which comprise all Federal entities, are made up of “people”, and people are complex bundles made up of different and differing personalities. There is a fine and delicate balance to be maintained between an “inquiry” and a “bugging”, and further, between an acceptable level of “bugging” and one which crosses the line into annoyance. It is good to recognize and know when and if the lines are crossed. A power struggle is a fine thing to get into, where there are two camps of equal power. Where there is an imbalance of power, however, it is often unwise to insist upon the tug-and-pull of such a struggle. A word to the wise: in dealing with any Federal Agency, be it the Office of Personnel Management or a Supervisor at a given Agency X, maintain a voice and tone of professionalism; the person on the other end of the telephone, no matter how friendly, is not your next-of-kin; be courteous, always, even if you want to insist upon something.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire