Last week we moved to the south side. R— was back, after two weeks out. They were sick of something undiagnosed, and we had decided if you don't get a negative test then you should stay home for two weeks. The south side has a roof to wall that's difficult to stage, with the only access off a 10/12 roof. R— is not comfortable at heights. Also the first thing to do there was put in a line of blocking with almost no room to work, where you have to rely a lot on your reach. I've got about a half foot on R— and I had trouble with that spot on the north side.
Knowing all these things I put R— on the blocking first thing. In the past I haven't pushed R— for a variety of reasons but I felt this was a good test. When they had to step away from the task for a moment I somewhat perversely didn't pick it up for them but waited for them to come back to start it. They (slowly) roped up (luckily we had a tie off point right there), and took until lunch to get halfway done, only having to redo the work once fortunately. It's not always easy to gauge how much trouble someone will have with something. I often wonder if the benefit outweighs the cost. Nevertheless when R— finished they gave a victory salute. That's always a good sign.
This past week we formed up for the pour Friday and I let R— and B— take the front porch without much direction. It was an effort at times, overhearing their discussion, not to jump in. It's a challenge to their level of ability, but it's also a challenge to my sense of control of how things should be done. When I let someone do something without much oversight, it's a real letting go. There were little things they had to redo, though that was because the plan was mostly verbal. It's a reminder a drawn out plan is worth the time.
Later R— thanked me for letting them do it on their own. I think in my position I don't have the constant oversight and it's easy to forget what it feels like to be in that position.