What if the reserve is limited, but we are never informed of it? Perhaps the gods, fate or however the source of creation is defined, has placed a quota upon the extent of that which is expended, but we are never included in the corporate decision-making process – then, what? Death, insanity or just plain debilitation and stoppage of activity; is that what we call “an unfortunate end”?
By “reservoir”, we normally mean that natural or artificial accumulation that is used for a specified purpose – the town’s water supply; a special cache of good wines; or perhaps, even that sixth player who is left sitting (a temporary “bench warmer” – though, perhaps in this climate of everyone being nice to each other, such terms are no longer considered appropriate) aside until a burst of fresh input is needed.
Concurrently, we expect that any depletion from the cistern is consistently replenished, except during periods of extreme droughts when we are forced to systematically make use of it with the justification that it is that for which we reserved it in the first place, and when times are better, we will take care in replacing that which seemed limitless just an eon ago. And, why is it that when the main tank has been completely re-filled, we have a tendency towards excess and lavish spending, but when we hit the “reserve” indicator, suddenly we act with frugal caution and become responsible conservationist?
Is it because of our hereditary backgrounds as hunters and gatherers during a time of unknown and tenuous circumstances, when bodies hungrily stored fat in order to survive during those times of want and scarcity?
What if we are left with a limited number of words in life, and once expended, we become transformed into unnoticed mutes wandering across time, traversing the silence amidst others who have saved their reserve for future accessibility?
Life often “feels” like that – of having reached a point of depletion where the quota has been reached, the reservoir has been emptied, and the excess energy expired.
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 position, it often seems as if the reservoir needed in order to reach that golden mark when retirement age and cumulative years of Federal Service coalesce to allow for passing across the proverbial “finish line”, has been too early depleted.
Unfortunately, medical conditions hasten the reservoir of time, energy, patience and capacity to withstand the daily toil of workplace stresses and employment concerns, and there is often a need to access an alternate source of supply.
Federal Disability Retirement allows for that; it is a means to recognizing that the reservoir is limited, and that the medical condition has reached a critical point where replenishment is no longer an option. Yet, even after a Federal Disability Retirement is achieved, the Federal and Postal worker can go out into the private sector and remain productive, and under the law, is allowed to make up to 80% of what one’s former Federal or Postal position currently pays, and still maintain employment and receive the annuity.
For, while the reservoir of one’s life and talents may indeed be limited, it is the limitation of self-imposed stubbornness in refusing to acknowledge that the medical condition has reached a critical point, that often defeats and depletes long before the fuel gauge indicates a warning light of that ever-blinking “danger” point.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire