OPM Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Chess

Two quick observations about the game of Chess and those who play it:  Few are actually very good at it; and, like self-image and a false sense of confidence for many in the United States, too many who play it believe themselves to be very good at it.  Stefan Zweig wrote about the game brilliantly in his novella, the “Chess Story” (or otherwise translated or sometimes referred to as “The Royal Game”), and debunked the notion that the greatest of players are by implication, necessity and prerequisite of an intellectual character, either as brilliant mathematicians, logicians, musicians, philosophers, etc.

The “brilliant” chess player, Czentovic, is a moron at best, and a blithering idiot at worst — but boy, can he play chess and beat everyone and anyone.  To some extent, the reality of Bobby Fischer confirms the skepticism of Zweig as told in the Chess Story — of the idiot savant whose distorted singularity of brilliance being limited to the ability for adeptly maneuvering within 64 squares of white and black spaces and utilizing 16 pieces each in a game that requires foresight and some amount of insight.

That is not to say that one should minimize or diminish the attributes of a Grand Master and, indeed, many such people were “brilliant” in other ways, as well.  One cannot make generalizations and say that every good chess player is a blithering idiot; but nor can one assume that, because one is good or great at the game, ergo he or she must be an intellectual, philosopher, physicist, etc.  The downfall of most is in the notion that you are good because you think you are good; for everyone else, the tempering of reality normally comes about when one’s own notions come into contact with the reality of the world.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that 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, initiation and submission of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may become a necessity.

Filing an OPM Disability Retirement application is somewhat akin to playing chess — from the crucial initial “move” of the pawn, to maneuvering your way through the landmines of a complex administrative and bureaucratic process, until the final stage of a “checkmate” that results in an approval from OPM.  But the game of chess is not merely the physical aspect of it, and encompasses a wide range of psychological characteristics — of fooling one’s self into greatness; of becoming overconfident; of underestimating one’s opponent.

Similarly, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM is not just the “physical aspects” of filing — it must encapsulate proper legal citations; persuasive argumentation; careful gathering of information, evidence and documents, etc.  And like the fool who believes himself to be a great chess champion, one should always remember that being the “best” at something doesn’t just involve thinking that it is so, but should include consultation with an expert to objectively determine it to be so.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Meaning of life

Most of us are too busy to pause for air, reflect upon theoretical, hypothetical or philosophical issues that have little to do with day-to-day living or earning wages in order to maintain a certain standard of living.  Every now and then, however, when the tumults of life’s encounters reaches a pinnacle of unsolvable problems such that the stressors exceed the barometric pressure allowable for the human psyche to withstand, there is a compelled stoppage, a mandated cessation and a forced condemnation to rest.

It is, in short, called a “medical condition”.

It is when we become debilitated, destroyed, distraught and disillusioned that we begin to ask such universal, exhaustive and unnatural (by this term is meant with a rhetorical question:  What other animal in nature asks such questions, and thus do we posit them as “unnatural”) to the core queries that, as Bertrand Russell once wittily quipped, is likely the result of indigestion.

What do we mean when we ask such questions; of looking up at the ceiling with furrowed eyebrows and inquiring, “What is the meaning of all of this?”  It is, of course, the focal point of “this” that one must then turn to, for such a word is obscure, undefined and like a blank space to be filled, can be interpreted in an eternity of ways depending upon the context of the query.

Is the “this” referring to the pain, suffering and debilitating medical condition being experienced?  Is it about the “unfairness” of it all and the fact that others seem to be roaming this earth carefree, careless and thoughtless as to one’s pain, whether physical, emotional or cognitive?  Or does the “this” reference the connection of all of that striving, the hours and commitment to work – of a loyalty to a Federal Agency or the Postal Service who cares not about your medical condition, may not have even noticed your absence (at least for the time being until someone finally notices the pile of work backing up on the desk of that…what was her name?) and likely thinks of individuals as mere cogs in a wheel, replaceable and fungible.

In the end, Russell was probably right; such questions about the “meaning of life” are beyond the comprehension of any level of rationality, belief or coherency that has any real impact upon our lives to make a true difference.  What really matters, in the end, is not that “philosophical” query about the meaning of life, but about human contact, relationships, and securing a future for ourselves and our families.

To that end, preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset is an important next step for the Federal or Postal employee who can no longer continue in the career position of his or her choice.  For, filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application actually does answer the question, “What is the meaning of ______”; it may not be the grand concept of “life” itself that completes that blank, but it sure beats walking away with nothing by obtaining an annuity to secure one’s future so that other things in life may be enjoyed.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Medical Retirement Benefits: Cloud of thoughts

The metaphorical connotation represents the state of many who wander about the earth; that is why the statistical reflection of accidents and injuries can never quite be diminished, and the constancy of conundrums concerning catastrophic clemency of uncharacteristic conduct can never conclusively conceal the calamity of creativity.  Sorry, but once alliteration is initiated, it is difficult to extricate one’s self from the poetry of consonants and vowels dancing in tandem.

But more to the point:  the Human Animal is unique in that it is the only one of the species that walks about in a cloud of thoughts.  Moreover, in modernity, the exponential magnification is starkly evident because of the draw by Smartphones, computers and other hand-held devices.  Once upon a time, long ago, there was the public phone booth; then, doctors and other impressive individuals carried around pagers (or otherwise known as “beepers”), and anyone who suddenly received notification through this anomaly of a wireless device was immediately recognized as someone important, for who else would need to be contacted as so indispensable as to require interruption during a meal at a restaurant, or in the middle of a gathering or event?

Then, of course, technology and the inventors of the universe decided that, democracy being what it is and value, worth and significance of each individual being equivalent to one another, we should all be deemed special – and so, instead of being forced to wear dunce-hats and be made to sit in a corner excluded from participation with others, either because of our behavior or our witless comments – fast-forward to today, and everyone is special, all are important, and none are lesser than the next person.

And so we now have everyone lost in checking text messages, updating, button-pushing, twitter-feeding, whatnots and no-nots and know-hows and know-nots; all deep, deep in clouds of thoughts.  Or, not.  Is there a difference between walking and wandering the surface of the earth, lost in a cloud of thoughts, as opposed to being glued to one’s Smartphone or other electronic device?  Is one of greater value or relevance than the other?  Is there a difference between the cognitive input or brain waves of distinction, or is it all just a fuzzy feeling of angst and suspicion?  Do MRIs reveal anything when we see the graphic images of cranial activity and color-enhanced dullness of inactivity?  Or do such images merely provide a parallel sense of correspondence, as opposed to causal efficacy?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the engagement of a cloud of thoughts can be twofold:  One, it does take some thought and preparation in order to formulate an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, and so being under a cloud of thoughts is a “good” thing; but Two, that proverbial “cloud” that overshadows the Federal or Postal employee because of the concerns surrounding the ongoing medical condition, can only be “lifted” by moving beyond the job and career which only serves to exacerbate one’s circumstances and conditions.

Preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM involves both a cloud of thoughts, and services to lift one from the burden of those clouds.  Now, if only we could do something about those hand-held devices which provide us with those scary images of brain inactivity, we might also save the world at the same time.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Suspicion of Preemption

Preemptive strikes are often justified by anticipatory rationalizations; the “other” one was “going to” do it, so it is right that one should do it beforehand (whether we are certain of the other’s actions or not, and of course, that is the beauty of such argumentation; by raising the specter of suspicion, we skip over the question itself and deride those who would dare to question the right of self-defense).

In international affairs and economic entanglements on a macro-based scale, nations can impose sanctions and initiate first strikes based upon barricades denoting “sourced” information and secrets obtained.

In linguistic preemptions, within the microcosmic universe of office settings, neighborhoods, friendships teetering on total destruction – these are the true arenas of daily strikes of preemptive devices, where suspicion should prevail and concerns conveyed.  For, in the end, why is it that people plant the seeds of doubt and utter the words of undermining efficacy?  Is gossip ever justified, rumors of helpful venue, or callous remarks disseminated of healthy connotations?

The linguistic art of preemption, of course, is engaged by the subtle hints of rumors unverified, and planted precisely in order to destroy before the others get to you first.  It is the art of the “beforehand” in an underhanded way, perpetrated by the dark hands of an assassin’s heart.

The problem with those who engage in such acts, is that they make of us paranoid despots all, because the unnerving  discord effectuated throughout engenders an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion from and by all, whereby people can never pinpoint the source of a rumor, the origin of a tasty piece of tidbit, and the destructive impact of consequences denied.  “Why can’t people just be straightforward?” is the refrain used by innocent fawns just before the predator devours; and the answer should be clear:  Acts of preemption avoid the consequential revelation of an actual justification; it is not “self-defense”, but an act of aggression with a retrospective view towards explaining that which may never have occurred in the first place.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who daily are pounded by preemptive strikes through subtleties, rumors and whispers of meanness, the time to “come clean” is probably long past due.  If the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal employee’s positional duties, the Agency, Supervisors and Managers have likely already taken note.  Preemption has already begun.

It is, in more ordinary and crude parlances, a matter of covering one’s own posterior, and thus the beginning trails of quiet harassment, hostility and increasing administrative pressures.

In such circumstances, the Federal or Postal employee is fully justified in engaging in the preemptive strike which has already been initiated by the “dark forces” of the workplace:  preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is that preemptive act which has already been justified by the medical condition itself; it just needs to be prodded into the next logical step, in order to avoid any suspicion of preemption, and instead, be brought to the fore.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Trauma of Change

There is comfort and security in the monotony of routine; for many, even a slight alteration in the identity of daily action presents a threat to the coherence of a world created and maintained.  Old men and women who suffer from the destructive forces of dementia rely upon it; homes which house the aging population, abandoned by obligation and freed from trust of children now grown, lean upon the crutch of sameness, as if sanity depended upon a universe determined to defy detour of deference.

But such clinging to the security blanket of daily recurrence is not relegated to the old; for most of us, reliance upon the monotony of unchanging sameness is what provides for reliability and dependability; alteration of environment is for the youth to encounter, as excitement of differentiation can only be relished by those who can accommodate change.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who begin to suffer from a medical condition, and where the symptoms and ravages of the diagnosed medical conditions begin to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, the winds of change present a formidable challenge to one’s sense of equilibrium, perspective of stability, and calm feelings for a secure future.

Change is traumatic; and, moreover, unexpected and uninvited alteration of circumstances by force of unwanted imposition, is like being hit over the head by the proverbial hammer of life, and we kick and cry in protest as we are dragged down the avenues of change.  And, like the addict who must undergo the steps towards rehabilitation, there is a recognition of stages:  Of having a medical condition; acceptance of the medical condition; realization that the medical condition results in an unavoidable impact upon one’s Federal or Postal career; then, to undertake the pragmatic and practical steps in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

It is this last step which is often the most difficult — to actually take those “real life” steps in applying for OPM Disability Retirement; and why is this?  Because, so long as we only “talk about” things, there is still stability and sameness in the objective world; but once we reach out and connect “talk” with “action”, the trauma of change becomes real, and the recognition that the world we left behind as a child — of gnomes, fairies, and the knight in shining armor — were really mere pictures in a storybook stored in the lost memories of innocence and warmth of a mother’s womb.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Medical Retirement: The X Factor

In algebraic equations, it is that unknown variable which remains elusive and concealed, and which must be figured out in order to arrive at the conclusion.  We love those teachers who inform us that “credit” will be “given” for work shown, and that it is not so important to come up with the answer as opposed to the methodology manifested in reaching it.

And so we devised a complex network of signs and symbols, hoping that they concealed the ignorance of our unlearned lack of wisdom.  But the fact remains that leaving the factor unexplained and unfulfilled is like turning one’s back upon a helpless puppy abandoned in the middle of a busy freeway; somehow, the hollowness of leaving behind haunts one with a sense of incompleteness, like the puzzle with a missing piece.

These vestiges of psychological appendages, like damaging mollusks on the underbelly of a drifting boat, remain long after the effort to solve the equation is abandoned; for, in life, we think that all variables have an answer, if only we had listened carefully in the classes we skipped or during which we daydreamed and slept.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to seriously impact one’s ability and capacity to fulfill the positional requirements (or “essential elements”) described, the thought of abandonment through resignation or termination leaves that same taste of dismay and fear, like the residue of pine-goo on the palm of one’s hand.

The “other” option — which constitutes the solution of the X-factor — is to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.   While not widely advertised, OPM Disability Retirement is a benefit which is offered when a Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to, because of a medical condition, perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties within the Federal government or the U.S. Postal Service.

Thus, instead of remaining static in a state of utter frustration, attempting like those childhood years of yore when scratching one’s head, peeking over surreptitiously at the blank paper on the next desk, or looking with wonderment at the ceiling above as if the gods of information will reveal the answer through the illuminating fluorescence of those linear tubes, the Federal or Postal employee has the ultimate solution for the X-factor within grasp:  preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Masking Imperfections

Have you ever noticed how British actors don’t have the same perfectly white teeth as their American counterparts?  Or, for that matter, any non-American, foreign television personality; unless, of course, they have lived here for a few years, in which case they have already undergone the cosmetic transformation of dental voila.  Beware of that which one preaches for others; for, someday, it may come back to embrace the hypocrisy of one’s being.  Yet, when something becomes the normative standard for everyone, then boredom and monotony of purpose begins to set in.

Thus do we require perfection of those television personalities which appear on various channels, and models and movie stars and even fill-ins and “extras”; and soon it appears as if everyone is born with a perfect set of teeth.  With perfection comes intransigence; and soon thereafter, intolerance for any miscreant of societal norms.  For all the talk about inclusion and acceptance, the one conflagration of discrimination always involves the ethereal universe of being “different” from others.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s positional duties at the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, the fear of failing the standards of perfection predicated upon a public perception of tolerant intolerance, pervades us all.

Let me elaborate for a moment:  We require perfection of personalities which we never meet but view daily; such a requirement ultimately reverberates throughout society and the psyche of a country; we carry forth that aura of requisite perfection, and begin to believe in the very lies of our own making.  That is the subtle insidiousness of imposed standards which we never asked for, rarely noticed and fleetingly thought about.  So the question becomes, Why do we then take such efforts to mask our imperfections?

Medical conditions are a fact of life.  Being included in the greater realm of “beautiful people” is that harkening back to those pre-teen years of wanting to be part of the clique that was cool.  When hostility and exclusion at the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service becomes unbearable, it becomes the exacerbating trigger of greater pain and anguish resulting through the medical condition one already suffers from.

It is time, then, to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.  Time for a change; time to unmask the masking of perfection; and time to move on beyond the cliquish immaturity of normative standards and relegate them to the vestiges of quiet failings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire