We all think we are the “best” at it; and, indeed, that is one of the espoused qualifications boasted by one of the major party’s candidates: a greater deal-maker, the penultimate trader. Such a person claims to be able to spot the jewel in the hidden crown; the uncut diamond in the quicksand of life; and the unrevealed luminosity in a universe covered in the abyss of vacuity.
We all like to think of ourselves as that great horse-trader – the one who can spot a good deal when we see it, and walk away from a sour one left unidentified for another sucker to be conned. The problem is that our egos tend to be greater than the wisdom of our own estimation. There is a reason why, in the United States, “self-esteem” hits records of affirmation and acknowledgement; we keep telling ourselves how great we are, and all the while others prove worth by accomplishment and sheer toil. That used to be our lot – of toil, despair and exhaustion from hard work; now, we believe in ourselves, and so it must be so.
There was a time when trading well meant surviving for another season; fur traders, commodity exchanging and transference of goods and services – these were the substances by which lives were lived. The introduction of money as the prevailing source of exchange placed an interrupting force within the evaluative process of trading. For, no longer was one thing transferred by direct possessory exchange for another, but the purchasing means became dependent upon a common currency for that exchange.
We lost the “eye” for direct exchange, and instead relied upon outside sources to determine the value of goods and services; and if one acquired a greater amount of currency, then the value itself of exchanging with that currency became diminished; and thus was born the evil of inflation. There is no inflation in a primitive economy of direct exchange; for, what is immediately needed, desired and traded for, constitutes the direct value of the currency involved.
Then, of course, there are less “material” issues for the good trader. There are “trade-offs” which must also warrant a “good eye”, in that a person must be able to evaluate, assess and analyze current circumstances, future needs and predictability of contingencies unexpected.
That is where the good trader in a Federal Disability Retirement case comes into play. For, the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who suffers 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 one’s Federal or Postal position, must be able to evaluate all of the vicissitudes of life’s misgivings, and make the “trade-off” between current work and career, future needs and potentialities, and engage the proper decision in moving forward (or not) in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
For, being the natural trader all of us are, and believing that our self-esteem depends upon the efficacy of our trading instincts, may not be enough to survive in this life; it often takes an evaluative methodology of acknowledging the “trade-offs” one must accept or reject, in order to survive, and the first order of a trade never to make is the one that concerns one’s own health and well-being. For, that is an invaluable commodity which has no equivalence of worth possessed by anyone else in order to constitute a fair exchange under any circumstances, and that is why preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application reflects the greatest trade of all.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire