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OPSEC and a special needs hired hand.

9490 Views 77 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  Bullets~n~Beans
Bullets~n~Beans and I are about to head back up on our new land after a week back in population. We are starting from scratch in a heavily forested area and there is plenty of clearing, selective cutting of timber and prepping logs for structures to be built this spring, in addition to building up the old logging skid for year'round use, all the other fun stuff that goes with developing an offgrid dwelling.

We have a young man in his late 20's, who came with excellent working references from close friends, that we have helping us move packed items into storage and wrap up chores at our old home to accelerate the move. He's hard working, strong as an ox, and is very interested in learning more about the outdoors. We've set him up with an old pack, stove, fire starting kit, shelter and he loves learning how to use them. After having him stay with us the past week, I would put his intelligence equivalent to about an 10-11 year old, and perhaps an IQ in the high 70's, low 80's (I've had experience testing folks back in college). He reminds me a LOT of Lenny in Mice and Men. In the amount he has told us, it seems he has made some poor decisions in his personal life through being manipulated and/or being naive. He is very honest, and have no fears of theft.

We would like to hire him to help now and then at our new land, but there are a few flags that have been raised in the course of having him stay with us this week.

1- He doesn't have the best editing function, he tells us more things than we ever needed to know about his family, several are either druggies, thugs, abusers and/or manipulators. His family lives between 70-100 miles away from us.

2- He talks a LOT. But mostly because he is bored (doesn't talk much when working), and we've been told if you don't want something shared, don't let him know.

He lives +30 miles away, does not have the ability to drive right now (perhaps this spring). Friends of ours vouched he would be great on the property, and he wouldn't remember the way to the property, especially if we took the many forest roads in our area. He has expressed concern with "bad things" coming and has asked for help in planning a budget to build preps (we set him up with some bags of beans, rice, etc., which he DOES eat, and are showing him how to use them.

Most of the work we would have him do would be forest clearing, we will be handling a lot of the main construction ourselves. If SHTF, I wouldn't hesitate to take him in, but the thought is still in my mind of some relatives showing up.
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As I stated in my thread about Opsec and trust, you just need to weigh out the risk factor. I would pick his brain more about his family....are they armed, criminal records ,etc. Because of his IQ you may not get much but any info might help you plan ahead. If you trust "him" keep him on reguardless of family. Just keep telling him to not talk about you to his family! Worry about the family if the time comes and find out where his loyalties are! Chances are he will be loyal to you because of your treatment of him! This may not be a nice comparison but take a mis-treated dog into your care and you show it love and respect, it will be loyal to you and not the family that mis-treated him! If he feels your trust, he becomes more trustworthy!
Good point about loyalty.

If they have any firearms at all it's minor.
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I have an 11 year old son...don't underestimate their intelligence. It sounds to me like this fellow is simple minded but good hearted. That doesn't make him dumb. From what you describe, I would call him "innocent." He speaks freely to you because of trust and because he probably has an innate sense of extreme honesty: much like a child. He has an excellent sense of discernment and knows good from bad.

Take care of this soul...I imagine that he would lay down in traffic for you if he thought it would help you. Guard your words and actions around him for OPSEC sake, but be careful not to shun him. You've already stated that you'd take him in, so he is someone that you care for (lol, gotta love a stray!) Anyway, it sounds like he's a friend in the truest sense of the word. You indicated that his family is distant from him...what amount of contact does he have with them? Is he living alone now, or does he have a caretaker? Might not be a bad idea to build some quarters for the ranch-hand...maybe even find him a nice companion to share it with (good dog, nice girl, etc.)
Honest? So far as we can tell he is very honest. Too much so, which is why we are concerned with OPSEC. And you are correct in being simple minded because is NOT dumb by any means.

He is more than capable of taking care of himself and does so quite well. The issue is more of providing *quality* guidance more than anything else. He has some excellent guidance going in his current temporary living quarters and we could expand on that.

Building 'ranch hand' quarters is an interesting idea.
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you like to look at deer or whatever wildlife is on your property (you do have some that you like to look at, right? :D).
Oh yea! Elk, deer, turkeys, quail, grouse, bears.....
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Don't feel like you are taking advantage of him by using his labor.
There have been some very helpful and intuitive post's on this thread and they are all appreciated. Unfortunately I'm a bit on the other side of exhausted to give any rational reply's.

But I do want to address this specific quote. (and more later!) We don't feel that we are taking advantage of anybody. Quite the opposite in fact. His time and effort is valuable to us and we are making it more than worth it. :)
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I returned to check his work and found gas cans, loppers, bar oil, cigarette packages (yuk!) spread out over an acre of our property. He took 2 hours to cut a wheelbarrow full of firewood and left it strewn instead of stacking.
Not good.

This was a good test to get a better read on his workstyle, I think I will reserve his help for when BnB is on the property and working side by side with him and give him more immediate direction.
Ok, I'll be up by the end of the week.
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I tend to thank just about everyone who takes time to post on a thread I started, unless its spam or trolling. I'm in and out on the Mountain so much I may miss a few, don't take anything from it.
Same here. At times I/we get busy and miss a few but all post's are appreciated. Sorry for the confusion.
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