We have all seen it; the question is, how is it recognizable?
Well, one way is by the contrasting identification with other features of the human façade. Here, Plato’s attributed observation that the eyes are the window to one’s soul, is that comparative characteristic that reveals the veil of the phony smile that uncovers more than words will tell.
It is that disarming act that defies sincerity but only is manifested when it is too late; of the knife that stabs one in the proverbial back just after the smile has been issued, like a letter that arrives with such anticipation of joy and yearning, only to begin with the proverbial warning, “Dear John”.
The phony smile is well known; it is perverse and pervasive throughout literature.
“Did you see that smile?”
“Oh, I can’t stand that person – what a phony!”
“The eyes – did you get a look at the cold stare as he smiled?
“Yes, he smiled, but those teeth that bared could have cut your heart in two!”
And so the phony smile has made its way through the analogs of time, truth and tempestuous and temperamental tumults, but has survived precisely because it is a smile that phoniness cannot always be certain to be questioned. It is, as with words in insincere voices, the action that follows that determines the validity of the smile itself.
The analogy for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are suffering 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 the Federal or Postal position, is in the way the Federal agency or the Postal facility treats the Federal or Postal employee when a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.
The “smile” is what the Federal agency or Postal Service promises; the contrast to the “eyes” that tell of the sincerity is defined by what they actually do; and the determination that the former was “phony” is when they proceed to stab you in the back. That is when preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, needs to be initiated.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire