At some point, the “distancing” begins. First, a subtle move — not saying “hello”; not answering a phone call; avoiding the places where the usual meetings once took place.
Then, perhaps the prefatory denials: “We weren’t really friends” (an adverb to enhance the denial, but a form of grammatical insertion which is more telling when used than not applied at all); “Oh, I didn’t know him hardly at all”. And then the final nail to the coffin: “Who? The name is not familiar.” Well…how about these photographs which show that you were with him/her multiple times?
Toxic associations can range from the blatant to the subtle; but once the toxicity becomes apparent, the rats begin to abandon ship in droves.
Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition are often treated as such associations — “toxic” to the extent that they are looked upon as plague-filled individuals who are no longer a member of the “team”. When those allegedly toxic associations begin to be felt — of coworkers ignoring you; of supervisors looking at you with suspicion, etc., it is time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
Your medical conditions are often viewed as contagious — not in terms of transmitting diseases, but in terms of no longer being useful to the Agency or the Postal service.
Contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement benefits and begin to disassociate yourself from the toxic associations — theirs, not yours — and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Lawyer