Having a sense of shame can reveal a heightened level of moral superiority; but as with all things emanating from the Good, those who lack a sensitivity to propriety will take full advantage of a misguided loyalty to ethical conduct. Work and a duty to one’s vocation is a guiding principle for most Federal and Postal employees. That is precisely why filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether one is under FERS or CSRS, is anathema to the Federal and Postal employee.
The committed Federal and Postal employee often has a warped and misguided sense of his ethical duty to work, and will allow for a medical condition to continue to exacerbate and debilitate, at the expense of one’s deteriorating health, all for the sake of commitment, devotion, and high ethical sense of duty to one’s mission for the agency.
Supervisors and managers recognize this, and take full advantage. But the Federal and Postal employee must by necessity understand that Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal employees precisely for the underlying reasons offered: When a medical condition impacts one’s health such that one can no longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement is meant to be accessed precisely because it has always been part of the benefits package for all Federal and Postal employees, whether under FERS or CSRS.
Commitment to a mission is indeed commendable; blind devotion at the expense of one’s own health is somewhat less so — unless one counts the sneering approval of agencies who see such sacrifices as mere paths to the slaughterhouse.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire