The term implies a negative connotation; of a messy, untidy area, as well as denoting an unsanitary condition; but beyond the association, an undeserved reputation that the inhabitant lives by choice in such a state of disarray and uncleanliness. But pigs by nature do not choose to live where feces and food mix; rather, the forced confinement within minimized living quarters results in the undeserved reputation.
That is often how Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers feel when they are in the middle of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset — like being in the midst of a pigsty.
Tidiness is not the normative process; stuff happens, and the euphemism of human waste seems to hit a proverbial fan. The medical condition itself seems to force the unpleasantness; agencies respond by placing greater and more onerous demands and constraints upon the Federal or Postal employee; and the admixture of that which should be left separately, becomes commingled and the professionalism once prided upon is swept out the door.
Suddenly, the Federal or Postal employee is not considered the “rising star”, and performance reviews of superlative heights are no longer a given; Supervisors and coworkers walk by with cold shoulders, and empathy and understanding are human emotions forgotten and shunned. All throughout, the Federal or Postal employee must deal with the medical condition itself, and then some.
Filing for Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefits is always a stressful time, and one where an ordered and orderly state of affairs is temporarily suspended. But when once the sought-after condition is achieved, and the prioritized focus upon attending to one’s medical conditions can be attained, time allows for the past to fade away into a desultory dream of distant calling, where the pigsty of past lives is replaced with a pastured plateau of new beginnings.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire