Side orders are meant to compliment the entree; there are specific types of appetizers and addendum dishes which enhance the culinary delights, and those with more sophisticated and refined salivary receptors tend to make a magnified fuss about such issues, especially in posh restaurants where a display of the proper matching of manners, wines, menus and side orders are embraced with an upturned nose of superiority and a disdain for those who fail to follow the propriety of civilized society.
Choosing sides and the ability to do so, tells much about a person.
In restaurants, furtive glances are often exchanged when a person attempts to order in the original language of the cuisine; in sports, from an early age, choosing sides reveals one’s fealty, and ingratiating self-to-popularity by excluding those who are are estranged from the inner circle of cliques is the safer route to take.
Coordinating loyalties from an early stage in one’s career is merely an extension of both — of choosing the “right” sides to the entree of one’s profession. For the Federal and Postal employee who begins to suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, the warning signals begin to blare early on.
Old loyalties begin to fray; more recent touches of camaraderie quickly crumble; and what we did for the supervisor, or that major project that we worked late nights for months on endless turmoil which resulted in accolades for upper management — and a satisfying pat on the back for the underlings — are all forgotten. Clear lines to bifurcate which side you are on, fade with time. During the 7th inning stretch, the white powder may have to be rolled upon the diamond again, to reestablish the boundaries of the game.
But for the Federal and Postal employee who dares to allow for a medical condition to impact the “mission of the agency”, and to begin to prepare to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS, the rules of the game itself begin to change radically. No longer are there boundaries of proprieties; side dishes are not served to compliment, anymore; and there is no one left to be a part of your team. You have now become the pariah, the outsider; the one estranged from the rest, while everyone else watches you with gleeful betrayal.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire