Those aren't too bad to roll over and operators are generally even keeled and know exactly what to do under most circumstances. Richard wasn't most operators.
Richard was easy to talk with, he was helpful, and a good man. But this project was upsetting to him and for good reason. He had been in the control room for 15 years and didn't know anything else. After it was rolled over, he was going to another unit, with new people, equipment, and processes.
A new work environment wouldn't bother most people but Richard wasn't most people. He was a Vietnam veteran with PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He would routinely become anxious on his shift over the project. Sometimes he would brood. He periodically called in and threatened to go postal in the control room. On those days management told him to stay home.
It was interesting to hear how Richard was doing from day-to-day. We were in that control room daily for two months working long hours to roll everything over. It was good to see Richard at work because those were good days for him. I didn't think he would do anything drastic but you never know what people will do when they reach an Anxiety Threshold for Catastrophe.
We rolled the reactor over, when it was shut down. We tested our configuration and code extensively to ensure there were no mistakes and it would run as required. Our safety was in full consideration, too. We were ready and confident.
As luck would have it, Richard was on shift the day we had to start the EC reactor up. My programmer and I hoped someone else would be on shift but you seldom get what you want. He was so nervous and upset about it he refused. His Technical Assistant assured him she would be by him the whole time to assist the startup. This went on for four hours without success.
I had been told to not interfere. I didn't. Another control room called telling the TA they needed to startup the EC reactor or they would have to reduce rates or shut down. The TA was flummoxed. She walked away.
I stepped over to the operator's station and told Richard the programmer and I would stay at the engineering station and watch him start up. If he got into trouble, we would take over and start the unit for him. We knew what to do and how to do it.
Richard needed assurance we were absolutely confident it would start up safely and and run the way they had always run it. He needed confidence in the programmer and me to assist him. Fifteen minutes later, Richard began to start the unit up from the Foxboro I/A.
Richard did a beautiful job and was well pleased with himself. He beamed nervously, after the unit reached steady state. He couldn't believe he had done it and how easy it was.
Richard was a precious man to become acquainted with and became even friendlier that day. He is a good man. We enjoyed some laughs over his postal threats during the rest of our time in that control room. It was a pleasure to work with him and hang in there with him on his victorious day.