In 1987 one person jumped from ‘Sagar Vijay’, a deep-sea drilling-rig, into the sea and committed suicide. I was assigned to study such probable cases who might commit suicide. I knew that successful suicides were beyond identification. I also knew the limit of The 16 PF but I was sure of the ‘checklist’ developed by Friedman and Rosenman for the measurement of Type – ‘A’ personality. I concentrated on the ‘checklist’ along with the 16 PF. I studied 523 employees working in off-shore on various ‘rigs’ and production plate forms. Based on their Type – ‘A’ personality and scores on ‘anxiety’ and ‘neuroticism’ on the 16 PF I prepared a list of 15 persons who were to be transferred to office duty.
Dr. Ramanathan, Member (P) asked me to shortlist the names of the employees who needed an immediate transfer. I, after consultation with my data, reduced the list from 15 to 8 and submitted to him. He was having lots of faith in my ‘analysis’ as I foretold him about his elevations much earlier after his personal assessment. As a result, he immediately issued transfer orders without consulting the concerned Member.
After one month a file was marked by Member (Drilling) with a remark, “Mr. Talwar is a low literate, rendering good services in off-shore as a driller. If we post him on office duty, he may not perform well. Dr. Gupta might have done his analysis in a hurry. He should re-look and suggest.” In fact, I was asked to change my analysis. I consulted the data. His score on the checklist was 130, an indication of true Type – ‘A’ personality prone to exhaust under prolonged stress. His anxiety score was higher than neuroticism score, though anxiety was a major component of neuroticism. This was indicative of ‘meaninglessness in life’ which attributed to suicidal feelings. I didn’t see any reason to change my recommendations.
I was punished for not adhering to his suggestions for more than two months. Later on, Mr. Bhandari, Member (Drilling) desired to assist him in review committee at Vadodara. It was the result of the death of Talwar who developed cancer and died within three months of my assessment. Especially, such meaninglessness I observed in chronic patients suffering from diseases like severe diabetics, cancer patients, etc. Persons suffering from such feelings lose their desire to live. Chronic sickness means that the person has lost his desire to ‘live’ due to some severe adjustment problems.
I was developing skills to transfer results of one test and interpret those results with the help of another test. For example, with the help of my in-depth knowledge of personality factors on the 16 PF, I attempted to understand the results of a score of the checklist. Later, I developed skills to recognize type – ‘A’ person through the Personality Factors and vice-versa.