In lectures and speeches, a “signpost” is a linguistic device used to reveal to the listener what direction the talk is about to take. In everyday life, there are similar signposts which one provides, and which others provide to the recipient. The problem is normally not that there does not exist a signpost; rather, the difficulties normally follow upon the inability of the individual to recognize such signposts. One can ignore such signposts and continue to forge forward, or one can attempt to identify it, evaluate it, then make the best possible judgment, concurrently preparing for the progressive developments which will ensue as more and more signposts are forthcoming.
In preparing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the identification and action upon a signpost is essentially what one does. The signpost constitutes the medical condition and the progressive impact of that medical condition upon the ability or inability of a Federal or Postal worker to continue in a particular kind of job. It tells the Federal or Postal employee who is suffering from a particular medical condition, as to the direction which (A) will be forced upon the Federal or Postal employee (B) the Federal or Postal employee is encouraged to start to undertake, or (C) the Federal or Postal employee should/must take.
The identification of the appropriate direction is entirely dependent upon the stage and current status of the medical condition, and its present impact upon the Federal or Postal employee. One can certainly have a fourth option: to ignore the signpost. But to ignore the signpost is to merely delay the inevitable, and to progressively limit and narrow the options available.
In a Federal Disability Retirement case, one ignores such signposts at one’s peril.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire