The age-old paradigm of assuming that one’s career will take a singular path from birth to death is based upon a pre-industrial viewpoint fostered and solidified in the post-industrial age. It is folly, however, to think that the human body can survive and withstand the repetitive stresses, both physical and cognitive, of the daily impact inflicted by the modern workplace.
Whether in physically-demanding jobs in the Postal Service; unrestricted stresses in Supervisory roles; of administrative functions in Postal and non-Postal Federal jobs requiring multi-tasking at levels unheard of; or of sustained, unsustainable endurance of data gathering, evaluation and analysis in front of a computer screen; there has been little-to-no time for evolutionary progress of the human body or psyche to adapt to the level of physical, mental and emotional demands and requirements coming from the modern workplace.
That is why Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit in the Federal Sector which is one of the few well thought-out compensatory packages: a recognition that a particular kind of job may well no longer be able to be performed because of a specific medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from continuing on in that career; paying a certain annuity amount; then, encouraging the (now former) Federal or Postal employee to remain productive by paying “back into the system” by becoming employed in some other capacity in the private sector. Such a paradigm is a progressive one, and it recognizes the need for flexibility while understanding the reality of the human condition within the context of the workplace.
Filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is a benefit which is available for Federal and Postal employees, whether under FERS or CSRS, and should be considered seriously by the modern workforce as a recognition that prior paradigms of single careers and vocations never took into consideration the complexity of the human body or psyche, nor the flashpoint of the body breaking.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire