Disability Retirement from Working with the Federal Government: Originality

It is a frightening word; for, it is what we all strive for, yet almost always fall short, fail or attempt to justify and obfuscate for not quite reaching that goal.

Fortunately, there are at least two, but likely an infinite number of, avenues of avoidance in being charged with its lack:  First, and fortunately, plagiarism is not a criminal offense and, moreover, no one really seems to care except in the most egregious of instances, and furthermore, for those professing to be constrained by Catholic orthodoxy, it isn’t even a venial sin, let alone a mortal one.

Second (and ad infinitum as to the corollaries, so that we do not have to go beyond the phrase, “And secondly” or engage in the Internet’s most popular search engine contrivances that always includes, “Five ways to..” or the “Ten most important…”), there is always an excuse for its lack, beginning with:  “Well, I did the best I could”; “It’s not so important to be unique as to feel good about yourself”, and the dead ringer:  “There is no originality left; everything has already been spoken for.”

Is that why the period between “the original” and “the remake” keeps becoming shorter and shorter?  Is it an unavoidable truism that – from themes and plots for stories, novels and other similar genres, to television shows and movies, as well as songs and artworks – there is a limit of finite constraints that even human creativity cannot avoid?

History reveals that originality of profound dimensions will arise in spurts and burps; from Continental Europe’s juggernaut of painters and writers, to America’s continuum of astounding literary greats including Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Updike to Vonnegut; and, in the great tradition and power of the Russian novelists and playwrights, from Dostoevsky to Chekhov and multiple others, without even reaching back to centuries preceding, the originality of works steeped in profound insights cannot be denied.

Has modernity followed a similar course, or has the bludgeoning of unceasing informational overload tempered the capacity of human creativity?

There is a known, coy quip about the formulaic recipe for great literary or visual works:  “Have a terrible childhood, and write about it.”  Thus, such a perspective is reinforced by Dickens and other coconspirators.  A cousin to that rule is to live through political turmoil under repressive circumstances, and the validation for that is revealed by Eastern European and South American writers of current vintage, especially now that translations have been improved and perfected.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the concern about originality should enter but only in a cursory manner.

Facts must guide; the evidence will prevail.

In preparing answers to the connivances of questions required on SF 3112A (Applicant’s Statement of Disability), do not try to be “original” in writing the narrative of one’s life, medical conditions and the impact upon one’s positional duties.

Remember always the other quip that must be recognized:  That each individual is already a paradigm of the original, and while the narrative engaged may not always be unique, and the reviewer at OPM may have “seen one and seen them all”, it is nevertheless one of a kind whether recognized and acknowledged by others, precisely because the life-experiences the Federal Disability Retirement applicant has endured has been nothing but original in the first instance.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Lack of time

It takes time in order to be “nice” and “considerate”.  We don’t have such a luxury, anymore.  We have been sold a bill of goods; that technology, Smart phones, computers, laptops, tablets; of the actual engagement in texting, emailing, and all of the multitudes of communicating by delight of button-pushing, will allow for man to pursue the creativity within, and to forego the toil of an otherwise working world. Then, we would reach the pinnacle of human ecstasy, of “time” enough to do that which we  were destined for.

And, yet…  Somehow, the promises made became empty vessels of contractual vacuity, and the social contracts so construed with ponderous delights, never reach a moment of fruition, and instead left us all with an emptiness of soul.

When a society begins to trumpet blares of social “rights”, and to utilize the political process and the courtrooms to assert the ability and capacity to force changes, then it is the step beyond moment of neighborly cohesiveness.  There have always been disputes within organizations, townships, blocks, etc., which have required mediation and third-party intervention; but, for the most part, the working order of a society depends upon common courtesy, decorum, and accepted conduits of conventional behavior governing personal conduct and public displays of geniality resulting in the glue which cements societal functionality.

But, that takes time.

It takes time to say “hello” and “good-day”; it takes time to know that The Stinsons down the way, or the Zachariahs or Abdullahs two houses away and four blocks to the left of the Smiths, respectively, have a child with pneumonia (as opposed to being fearful that such revelation of illness will be interpreted somehow as weakness of character), and the discourse of living should immediately invoke a response of care, concern and a grant of extended help.

But we don’t have time for all of that nonsense.

That mushy-gushy-goo of human relationships, where actual contact has to be engaged, and when picnics were once the commonality of congregation when children dressed in Sunday bests with butterfly nets in hand, flushed cheeks from the midday sun of dancing waves in the delight of a summer’s breeze, and neighbors actually stood face-to-face and reflected upon the concerns of others, and not faceless stoicism and the staid numbness within the cocoon of selfish wants and virtual realities of Pokemon and timeless pursuits of distractions unleashed but for the loss of connection with human contact, and thus of humanity itself.

But, that is because we lack the time.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who feel the loss of time and the lack of time, and where time seems to be “running out” like a spigot left unintentionally open and connected to a finite source of reserve – it may be “time” to prepare, formulate and file for OPM Disability Retirement benefits.

When the agency has no time for one’s medical condition; when the U.S. Postal Service cares not for one’s health; then, the only “time” which matters is that moment when health deteriorates and progressively debilitates, and then it is surely time to consider “moving on” and leaving those with such ties to the currency of time behind, in order to reach that pinnacle of timeless timing when an effective Federal Disability Retirement application may be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, where lack of time is more akin to the timing of lack which certainly takes time to prepare, formulate and file in a timely timelessness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: The monster within

There are gargoyles we imagine, which are scarier than those in real life – unless we mean by them the ones who plan to do us harm (and not just murderers, rapists and other violators of the social contract scheme).  For the latter, we have laws, self-defensive mechanisms, and the ultimate justification for flight, and sometimes they work, at others, partially or not at all.  We can spend a lifetime fretting over the monsters without; it is those within – the former that haunts and never leaves the home of the mind – that destroy without a finger lifted.  For, in the end, it is fear that defeats, and that is well known by students of military strategy.

What weakness the adversary has, should be exploited tenfold as a vulnerability beyond the actual numbers; and what suspicion of doubt is kept in reserve, should be accessed and manipulated in order to magnify the exponential harm perpetrated by a cautious mind.  What looms large in one’s mind is quantitatively expanded despite arguments of logic, rationality and calm discourse; for, it is the imagination left untethered when the quiet of darkness falls upon a sleepless night, that the qualitative lack of focus begins to take shape in shadows unseen by a dawning light.

What can be more fearsome than that which we cannot control?  In reality, the circumstances that develop and unfold are mostly those that we have allowed for; in the creative recesses of our mental reserves, the expansive and uncontrolled destinies can never be curtailed, but have the limitless potential beyond any reality of sanity.  That is why the master torturer knows never to rush, and the interrogator recognizes the value of anticipation; of allowing the quiet fears to grow in the solitude of thought; and in the period between reality and imagination, the monster within can grow tenfold in untold features of taking on masks of fearful expressions and profiles of unfathomable terror.

How does one break that spell?  The shattering of an imagined fear is often tied to a fragile psyche that cannot be separated, and like conjoined twins who share a vital organ, should not be bifurcated but with surgical precision.  Fear is an interminable intrusion, unless and until the causative forces are intersected by an antidote which dissolves and dissipates.  The key is to find the antidote; and in the meantime, to hope that the elements of reality are not so traumatic as to overshadow the forces of psychic quietude.

For Federal employees who suffer from a medical condition, and Postal workers who similarly experience the pain of physical disabilities or psychiatric dysfunctions, the issue of when, how, and if one should file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is intimately conjoined with the growing monster within, while battling the dual forces of antagonism and contentiousness from without.  For, it is often the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service which exacerbates the problems associated with a medical condition, which then further complicates and magnifies the monsters stirring within.

To resolve such a problem, the answer lies in the very preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; for, in the end, the monster within becomes resolved only when the gargoyles outside are dealt with, and for the Federal or Postal employee with a medical condition, that resolution is defined by obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity, in order to be able to take the next steps to secure a hopeful future, beginning with the act of separating from that environment of the Federal agency or U.S. Postal Service which helps to create the monsters in the first place.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Rhymeless Poems

When did it happen?  Certainly, by the time E.E. Cummings came upon the scene, with his oddity of typographical stream of consciousness, the acceptance of it had already come to fruition; or, perhaps it was in the translation of foreign such vehicles of linguistic amalgamations – when the first frustrated translator threw up his hands in disgust at a Japanese Haiku or a German verse of too numerous a compendium of throat-clearing consonants, that the advent of the rhymeless poem reached its fulfillment and pinnacle of public acceptance.  Or, maybe we just ran out of words.

Words are funny vehicles of communication.  With facial expressions, the scent of another, the movement of body or a sense of fear, anticipation and the adrenaline of life, one can discern an endless eternity of subtleties that, in their inexhaustible divining of messages sent and received, can further be conjoined, compounded and confounded by the essence of human complexity.  But words are limited to the meanings of each; and in the finite world of vocabularies existent, the rhyming words are that much more delimited.

It is not, as Wittgenstein would point out, something that we can just create out of whole cloth; for, there can be no “private language game” of one, as the very essence of it would be lost in the creation of a singular language game – communication, which is the purpose and teleological livelihood, cannot be justified if no one else understands the word, the greater concept, or the linguistic artifice intended.

Sure, sure – words are created everyday, especially in order to accommodate the growing technology of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.; and the abbreviated forms of linguistic devices necessitated by text messaging, as well as the diversity of communicating through emoticons, etc., only prove the point:  All such such inventions and convoluted conventions of acceptability have a finite basis in any algorithm created.  In the end, we are just left with more words, and the inability to find that perfect rhyme in a verse of poetic need.   And that is the point, isn’t it?

For the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker, having a medical condition is similar to reaching that point in writing a poem, when the rhyming word can no longer be found.  Life itself is like an endless verse of poetry; we flow along and rhyme from word to word, with a cadence found in maturity of experiences; then, one day, a medical condition develops, and the rhyming verses suddenly pause.  We don’t know what to do.  Search as we may, we cannot find that perfect word, or that acceptable cadence of living life.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may not be that discovery of the perfect word to end the silence of a rhymeless poem; it is, however, the last word in the verse of a Federal or Postal employee’s career, which may save the day from leaving the empty space blank, and instead, allowing for the next cadence in this continuing drama of verse-filled experiences, to take a leap into a future of security and new beginnings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: Paradigms abandoned

Of course, the most significant discussion concerning the shifting of major paradigms in the intellectual sphere of human advancement, occurs in Thomas Kuhn’s work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.  The concept of a “paradigm” shift, of adhering to a hypothetical model despite evidentiary incommensurability with the reality of an impervious and objective world; of a theocratic insistence upon a geocentric explanation despite factual calculations pertaining to a heliocentric reality; of bloodletting in medicine based upon the foundational paradigm of the bodily balance of humors; and, in personal lives, of how things “ought to be” as opposed to what actually are.

The farther an issue is removed from a direct impact upon one’s life, the easier it is to discuss it and arrive at conclusions based upon a rational discourse of commensurability.  Life lived as art is far more convenient than when the dreariness of engaging in the proverbial “reality check” must be faced in the mirror of one’s life.  Rarely does one apply a “scientific” approach when evaluating and assessing the reflection in a mirror; that is always left to the laboratory phase of one’s bifurcated life of compartmentalized delusions.  Yet, paradigms are precisely how we live; we just may not call it that, nor the foundation of our own actions in that manner.

Do we proceed based upon the expectations of others?  That, then, is a paradigm of objectified influences upon our motivational structure.  Are decisions primarily based upon an instinctive reservoir of emotional turmoil?  Consider, then, the paradigm of that lesser construct of our soul as identified by Plato in delineating the greater whole by comparative analysis between the state of one’s inner workings and that of the state itself.  In the end, the most telling factor in determining the essence of any human being, is not necessarily by the paradigms by which one adheres, but in the very ones which have been abandoned.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suddenly find that a medical condition will likely cut short a promising and lengthy career, the abandonment of a paradigm must by necessity become an integral part of the process.  For, the attachment to the conventional perspective cannot be underestimated; the belief that career should override all other concerns, including one’s own health; that future retirement is to be dictated by an imagined age of demarcation where competence and inertia rules by physical necessity; or, that the “mission of the agency” is the priority at all costs, including one’s own health and well-being.

Whatever the paradigm upon which the basis of motivational irrationality subsists, the facing of reality will clash when the progressive deterioration resulting from an unexpected and chronic medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from continuing any longer.

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, becomes an inevitability when the proportionality between reality and the conceptual construct of a paradigm insisted upon becomes incommensurate; but, then, Kuhn had already warned us of that eventuality, as well as the fact that a paradigm abandoned is tantamount to a revolution conceived; we just kept believing that the tectonic shift was meant for the “other guy“, and never for ourselves.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: Balance and Order in a Lost World

Once achieved, death destroys; it is the anomaly of life, that the linear progression leads toward its own terminus, and by slow and incremental degeneration, its own vivacity is defined by a sense of self-immolation.  The realization of attainment almost always occurs upon surpassing the apex of an ordering of one’s life, and so the inevitable decline necessarily diminishes any joy derived from self-reflection of having achieved that balance and order for which we strive.

We can pursue a lifetime of studying Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and the goal to achieve eudaemonia by living a life of virtue in accordance with reason, and thus comply with the essence of who we are, what we define ourselves as, and thereby fulfilling the conceptual construct of our own inventions.  Or, we can “chuck it all” and attribute absurdity to the universe, genetic predisposition as the defining essence of our being, and justify the arbitrary course of our lives by deconstructing the classical ordering of our civilization’s teleology.

Few of us consider ourselves to be the master of our own destiny; and fewer still, of much influence in the steerage of our direction or course.  We tend to believe in the magic of, “If only…” while simultaneously ignoring our freedom from society’s constraints and liberty’s folly.  And when tragedy befalls, we blame the collective conspiracies of the gods who view us as mere playthings, fodder for unenlightened determinism no more complex than a belief in superstitions once thought lost in the antiquity of timeless reservoirs of forgotten bookshelves.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must suddenly end his or her career because of a medical condition, because the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal worker to perform all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal worker’s position description, the loss of balance and order is not just a hypothetical paradigm, but a reality enforced by circumstances beyond one’s control.

Indeed, the “world” within which such balance and order is lost, is not attributable to some greater concept of geopolitical significance, but one which touches directly upon the ephemeral plight of the here and now.  The striving for balance and the need for order; these are fundamental constructs required to maintain sanity and joy; and when the imbalance of life combined with the disorientation tethered by an unexpected medical condition intersects upon the rhythm of daily living, the shaking up of an otherwise tranquil life can appear to be devastating.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often the necessary step in order to maintain that balance and order forever sought, and now interrupted by the gods of chance; and while the penultimate destiny of life’s striving may now appear to have lost its rationality for direction and purpose, it is always in the striving that one finds a way, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is often a means to a further end, if only to again regain a semblance of that balance and order once gained, and now temporarily lost, in a world already lost but for the insular privacy of one’s own happiness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire