Before we even became comfortable with the assignation of the term, “information age”, we were informed that we have already entered into the “post information age”; one has no idea where one stands today because of the lightning speed of our times. Whether human nature can withstand the onslaught of such rapidity and volume of the multiplicity of component data; of what consequence we are creating in our very midst; whether destruction of societal relationships and connections are truly best for the survival and continuation of our species; all of these concerns matter little. For, like the story of the complex machine which was once created, and for which Man forgot to build an “off switch”, the ever-forward trajectory of the age of infinite information encroaches whether we desire it or not.
Technology is dependent upon the newness of the next generation of dazzling whistles. The desire for greater enhancement of stimuli is wired within the human psyche; and like the rat which becomes addicted and comes back for more, we require the overload. For the Federal and Postal employee who is beset with a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the process of gathering, incorporating, and applying the information concerning Federal Disability Retirement and the bureaucratic process of obtaining the benefit can be, at best, a daunting task. There is always that “piece of evidence” of statutory linkage which must be considered; and as technology continues to progress without regard to individual circumstances, it is anathema to the regressive nature of a progressively deteriorating medical condition.
Ultimately, however, in whatever “age” we find ourselves in, we must play by the rules of the game, and acquire as much information as we can, and be able to filter that which is relevant as opposed to mere fluff. Like the proverbial bubble filled with hot air, there is much information “out there” which is either irrelevant, inconsequential, or simply filled with errors. One must be careful as to the source, and who to listen to.
For Federal and Postal employees under FERS or CSRS, the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement will be a long and complicated one. How one gets there will be the key; what information to use, and what tools to covet, will make all the difference in this complex world of post-whatever in which we find ourselves.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire