The surreal scene makes for eerie production spots for Science Fiction movies and end-of-world stories of apocalyptic tales — of men in white suits and bubble masks with breathing apparatus combing the countryside. But it is merely a spillage of hazardous material, and a team of men and women who specialize in cleaning the toxic chemicals was called in to manage, contain and clean.
But what of the daily spillage which occurs throughout, in offices, homes and populations unaware? Of the psychological poison which slowly pervades, and the stresses and wreckage incurred by countless innocent victims? Or of the toxicity from hostile work environments which slowly eat away, like those horrors one hears about in far-off countries of flesh-eating bacteria with no cure and no hope?
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 positional duties, must often contend with a toxic environment tantamount to a chemical spill on the side of the interstate highway. And like such a scene, the long and arduous wait for the HazMat team to arrive; the blare of ambulances traveling at dangerously high speeds along the shoulder of the road; the aromatic revulsion from the spillage pervading, slowing seeping, and one wonders: is the smell itself harmful?
On a hot summer’s day, the toxicity seems to exponentially pervade, and the lungs which once expanded with the freshness of the air, deflates and constricts. But who is the designated HazMat team for the Federal or Postal employee who is subjected to similar treatment, but caught within the web of hostility, aggressive denunciation and progressive ploys of adverse actions? Federal Disability Retirement is often the best option to escape from the toxicity of the work environment.
Filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset must call in one’s own HazMat team; for, surely, there is no designated group who can clean up the mess of such spillage as occurs in the Federal sector or the U.S. Postal Service. Nay, it is worse than the nightmarish scene as portrayed by men in white suits; it is the ultimate horror show from which there can be only one escape: Filing for Federal Disability Retirement through OPM.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire