The metaphor of trains and railroad tracks are numerous and infinite in their applicability and relevance: train wrecks; inability to stop; actions which proceed with a directional course towards a cliff; predetermined path of existence; and many others, some which invite ontological and teleological issues concerning free will and the ability to have an omniscient vantage point.
For Federal and Postal employees who are suffering from a medical condition such that the medical condition(s) impacts one’s ability/inability to perform all of the essential functions of one’s job, the analogy to a train ride is quite accurate. For, the course of one’s career is often one which is set at the very beginning — an upward trajectory with expected grade-promotions and regular step increases; a sense of working for an agency with a mission, a purpose, and (perhaps most importantly) a steady paycheck. But a pre-set course has a disadvantage: a track from which one cannot stray; yet, if continuing onward, a certainty for a collision, headlong into subpar performance evaluations, a PIP, disciplinary actions, and potential terminations.
A train wreck waiting to happen.
About the go over that proverbial cliff. Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit available for all Federal and Postal workers, whether under FERS or CSRS, if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Fortunately, humans are not trains; free will and the ability to change course in life is an innate potentiality of the human soul. But free will, in order to have any effect, must be acted upon. Mere thought is not the same as action; it is, ultimately, human action which leads to change. Just some thoughts to ponder.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire