What do we do when first we realize the defects revealed? If by mail order, we ship it back; if by direct purchase, we confront the storekeeper and point out the lessened nature of perfection and demand either a reduction to the original price or a full return upon the item purchased.
Damaged goods come in various forms: of complete uselessness; of partial defects that matter not; of a lifespan severely shortened; or of irreparable imperfection such that it cannot be used at all. And of people who view others in a similar way — how do we judge them and what do we think? Is it “right” for a person to view another as an object — as “damaged goods” — or must we always look beyond the person as a mere commodity and speak in terms of empathetic subjects reaching beyond the surface of a person’s value as nothing more than the price of a car or of an apple to be devoured?
Yet, that is how a person is looked upon, is he not — as in a Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who begins to suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal job. The Federal Agency or the Postal Service begins to view the Federal or Postal employee in terms of “productivity”, of “value” to the Agency or Postal unit — in other words, as a mere object to be assessed as a commodity, and whether the “damaged goods” should be sent back, returned, or replaced with a full refund.
When that perspective is asserted by one’s Federal Agency or the Postal Service, it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective FERS Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For, in the end, the damaged goods must be replaced with a refund or a return, lest we recognize humanity’s incapability of recognizing the difference between commodities and people.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire