Federal Employee Disability Retirement Benefits: Silence

Whether of the historical novel by Shusaku Endo or of the film adaptation by Martin Scorsese, the powerful images evoked (or provoked?) by the contrast between noise heard and the silence following can be felt only with the “before” and “after”.  The novel itself is Endo’s masterpiece, although he has written many; and, of course, Scorsese has a long list of accomplishments and commercial successes, but Silence is not one of them— at least not by commercial standards.

It is a serious movie with few bright moments; of contracted theological arguments and disputations revealing cultural chasms so deep that only a simple metaphor can make it comprehensible; of an agonizing series of endless torture; of the anguished, linguistic divide apparent between two countries which fail to understand each other because of the subtleties of language’s disconnect.  And then there is — silence — in contrast to noise; of a “before” and an “after”.

And the questions which foretell of the quietude: Does the lack of God’s intervention mean that there is no God?  Does “speaking” of denying and renouncing, or the act of stepping upon the image of God, determine one’s faith, or can faith be alive within the silence of one’s inner soul?  Can the Peter-like character, Kichijiro, remain a “faithful apostle” despite his breaking of his silence in actively renouncing and apostatizing?  And who has the greater faith — the priest who grudgingly passes judgment each time the apostate comes for confession and forgiveness, or the one who renounces but then confesses and asks?

In the end, Silence is too heavy a movie to be considered “entertainment”, and most people will not want to spend an evening watching a movie that has little joy and less to laugh about; for, the pain that is experienced by so many in this world in the silence of one’s own suffering is torturous enough without asking to view an even greater expansion of such pain and silence.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who, similarly, suffer in silence because of a medical condition that prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consulting and being guided by an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is likely the wiser course to take, as the bureaucratic morass that one must be guided through can be likened to the foreign country that the priests in Silence had to endure — through the pitfalls of dangers and caverns of unknown territories.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Knowing where your dog poops

It may seem like a minor thing, but such seemingly insignificant knowledge often represents a metaphor for greater and more relevant factors.  What happened the previous day can set the tone of how the next, succeeding day will turn out.  There is, in life, a repetition and rhythm that is fairly predictable; and when that monotony of comforting recurrence is suddenly gone, one’s world and the universe of dependability can suddenly appear shattered and unreliable.

Dogs tend to poop in the same area, and their “habit” is fairly predictable — much like human beings. Knowing where your dog poops in the back yard is important if you accompany them in the early morning hours of the following day.  As the old adage goes, you don’t want to “step in it” — whether in your back yard, in someone else’ yard, or in a public park where some inconsiderate individual didn’t “curb’ their pet.

Life itself is a metaphor for things common, and knowing where your dog poops — or where all of the dogs of the universe have relieved themselves — is a lesson about trying to keep yourself out of trouble, embarrassment, discomfort, or a combination of all three.  For the most part, we learn in life to do just that — to avoid certain areas; to keep away from certain trouble spots; to remain reserved and cautious.  But then, there are other issues that crop up that we have no control over — such as a medical condition or an injury that occurs over which we have had no say-so, no control over, and certain ones which we could not avoid.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who 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 one’s Federal or Postal job, the constant striving to know where your dog poops — of trying to hide from the wrath of a supervisor, or of hoping that your agency will not notice how much SL or LWOP you have taken; of the work that hasn’t been done because of your medical condition; of trying to avoid being noticed too much for fear of retribution — in other words, of trying not to “step in it” — can become exhausting and daunting.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may not be the “perfect” solution, but it is a step towards regaining some semblance of balance in one’s life so that, when you are approved for Federal Disability Retirement, you will once again know where your dog poops, even if it is dark, in the middle of the night, and the dog itself is unsure.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Constellation of our lives

Of what do we owe to the constellation above; and of their placement, do we wonder whether our lives are impacted therefrom?  The order of the universe — of the date and time when we were born; of a day’s happenstance, of luck or coincidence; do we wonder, or is Darwin the god to whom we bow out conscious lives, forever pursued by the genetic code within but never by the stars beyond?

Shakespeare, of course, made multiple references to the constellation of our lives, as in Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2:

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

There are surer things in life; and yet, under which stars we were born, the order of the universe, the rhythm of a cold and impervious reality “out there” — is there a purpose, and does the question ever get answered, or only remain as a query without a response from one generation to the next?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who 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 one’s Federal or Postal job, it may well be that the constellation of our lives have been re-ordered or misplaced, and that the gods have made sport of the misery that overwhelms.

When such occurrences beset, the trick is to intervene and re-order the re-ordering of the stars, and one way to do that is to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in order to take control of the constellation of our lives, and to not let some fiction of a predetermined “fate” rule over us merely for the amusement of the gods of the underworld.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement from the OPM: The person who wasn’t

It sounds somewhat like a Hitchcock film — or, is that too archaic a reference these days?  Is Hitchcock a film director whom nobody knows, anymore — another person who wasn’t?  Or, more precisely, “Isn’t” but was?  Is that the greatest fear of most people — the negation that erases, and why immortality and the existence of an afterlife is so important?

It is like Berkeley’s problem of the disappearing room — it is easy enough to imagine that when we exit one room and enter another, the first or previous one still exists in quite the same manner as when we last observed it (with the exception, perhaps, of a mouse scurrying along the baseboards or someone else entering the room while we are gone, changing the placement of the furniture, sitting down and smoking a cigar and changing the atmosphere in the room, etc.) — and the definition of “existence” as tied to our capacity to observe or perceive an object.

It is the thought of our erasure from existence that is the fodder for fear; yet, the self-contradiction of such a fear is so obvious as to logically obviate such a fear, but it doesn’t.  For the contradiction goes as follows: Our fear is based upon our thought of an event that cannot be, precisely because our erasure from the image formed by the thought cannot remain since we no longer exist; yet, it is the prevailing image of non-existence that haunts even though the image would not exist except during the pendency of our existence in formulating that image.  Existence reminds us of immortality; non-existence, of our vulnerability.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who 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 one’s Federal or Postal job, remember that the mere telling of one’s intention to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may trigger a host of reactionary retributions by the Federal Agency or the Postal Service, and so one should be carefully cautioned, guided and counseled by a lawyer when considering entering the administrative arena of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

It is as if the information about filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is a reminder of one’s mortality — that a medical condition that impacts you reminds those at the Federal Agency or the Postal Service that it could also happen to them — and thus the Federal Agency or the Postal Service moves quickly to erase such reminders by initiating adverse actions, harassing you, intimidating you, etc. — so that such reminders can quickly be erased in order to make you into the person who wasn’t.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for OPM Disability Retirement: Goals of abstract purity

Idealism allows for the plethora of such concepts; cynicism born of age and experience quells the exuberance of such vaunted beginnings.

When we were young — no, not the opening lines of a Christopher Robin poem where the hunt for a clove of honey is the day’s goal, but an observation about life’s folly — we harbored principles and moral codes that required strict purity: Success without compromise; life that is perfectly lived; avoidance of mistakes that our parents made; beautiful kids who will exhibit their inherent creativity at every turn, without a wail or disobedient scream of tantrum; and even if such goals of abstract purity never come to fruition, at least there is Instagram in the modern era where we can pretend to have achieved such paradise of ends considered.

Youth pretends to such abstractions; reality tends to soil such purity; and goals formulated at the beginning of life require constant moderation and adaptation to the experience of reality that is encountered throughout.  Such goals of abstract purity are best left in the Ivory Towers of Academia, or in the forgotten memories of childhood dreams.  For, it is reality and the objective world which must be contended with, and not the conceptual paradigms that make up the dreams and fantasies of our former selves.  In the end, grownups don’t have time to waste upon the goals of abstract purity because life is too challenging and reality too stark.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, the Goals of Abstract Purity should be replaced with the Ends of Realistic Objectivity: Of continuing with the Postal Service or Federal Agency only to the extent that one’s health will allow, and to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS.

And what of those former Goals of Abstract Purity?  You should place them upon the heap of memories that allowed for youthful folly, and realize that one’s health is the ultimate goal of purity — and it is no longer a mere abstraction, but a reality that must be faced.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire