Before the age of batteries and electronic sophisticates, there were wind-up toys. Mere mechanical wonders involving hidden spring actions and tightly wound coils for deliberative unwinding to propel movement, they betrayed a sense of wonder for their independence once released by the child’s hand. But the movement stopped; the unwinding of spring actions released to their full extent; and further human involvement was necessary.
In stage plays of yore, what amounts to a “deus ex machina” required intervention; and so the thumb and forefinger would grasp the flat key inserted in the back of the toy, and wind it up all over again. Many of us feel a kinship to such a descriptive process; the “winding up” may involve an unseen hand, but the rest feels eerily similar.
Medical conditions tend to magnify such a state of feeling; for, like the wind-up toy of childhood joys, the need for an intervening hand is required of both. But for the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who needs to go home for that restorative sleep, or that 3-day weekend in order to regain a semblance of stamina for the week ahead, whatever winding up process may occur, is never enough.
Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, often find that — as each time the “winding up” process takes place, it becomes less and less effective, and more and more necessary to keep going back to the source of intervention — and so the vicious cycle ensues.
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, is never the “total solution” to one’s medical problems; but, at the very least, it allows for one to reach that plateau of restorative rest, in order to recuperate. As the wind-up toy must come to the end of its uncoiling mechanical actions, so the Federal or Postal worker who can no longer continue in the same manner, must consider options available to him or her, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is certainly an alternative to consider.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire