Pyrite is often the element mistaken for gold, with its bright yellow appearance and shiny, reflective compound. Why a given mineral is determined of greater value than another of similar appearance is a complicated affair, encapsulating economic principles of supply and demand, the fungibility and replacement feature of one over the other, and the plain fact that the elemental differentiation itself constitutes “real” versus “fake”.
It is, in history books, novels and plays, a metaphor for greed, corruption, ill-fated endeavors, and motives which propel obsessions of determined failure and futility. For that which we seek with a blind eye, we end up becoming blinded to. During the course of a career, one can often lose sight of why we were working towards a goal, the values which we once cherished, and the reasons for our very essence and being.
For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who suddenly finds himself or herself with a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the metaphor of the fool’s gold is an instructive one. For, to pursue one’s career at any cost, is ultimately a fool’s errand; and when the price to pay is one’s own health, such a continuing act of futility can result in greater calamity than necessitated by one’s progressively deteriorating circumstances.
Priorities in life always have to be readjusted, in order to accommodate the unexpected vicissitudes of life’s challenges.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers, the work is important for most, and is a “high priority” in order to accomplish the mission of the agency or the Postal Service; but when one’s health contraindicates the priority of one’s Federal or Postal career, a change of venue should be considered, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is an important first step in making sure that the proverbial pot of gold one once sought, has not been replaced by the mirage of fool’s gold, lest the leprechaun who mended your shoes is caught during the process, in which case the three wishes granted may override the need to reshuffle one’s priorities.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire