Not Your Average Joe!

  | James Innes

At an age when most people would be happy to put their feet up and enjoy retirement, 89 year-old Joe Bartley has just started a new job. The former soldier and retired cleaner from Devon in England had found his life empty after the death of his beloved wife Cassie 2 years ago, and was desperately looking for something to do with his time.

Joe decided to place the following advertisement in his local paper, the Herald Express: “Senior citizen, 89, seeks employment in Paignton area. 20 hrs + per week. Still able to clean, light gardening, DIY and anything. I have references. Old soldier, airborne services. Save me from dying of boredom.”

Much to his surprise, his advert made headlines around the world, and Joe found himself being interviewed on national TV and radio, and the subject of countless newspaper columns. Joe told reporters that he had tried retirement before but did not like it, and that living alone in his flat was like living in solitary confinement. He also said that, although he got housing benefit, he preferred to pay his own way, and having a job would enable him to pay his rent without relying on state handouts. Joe said “I am a working man and I just need a job”.

His advert rang a chord with many local businesses, among whom was the Cantina Kitchen and Bar in Paignton, who invited Joe for an interview, He sailed through it!

Last weekend, he began his first shift serving roast dinners, with the Cantina’s customers greeting him with a cheer as he walked through the door for the first time. The café owners said they were very impressed with Joe’s initiative and desire to work, and made it clear the employing Joe was not a gimmick but a genuine offer of work.

Meanwhile Joe himself said: “I’m very happy. I’m content. I’m now a working man again and it feels great, really!”

Sources: The Telegraph, The Express, The Metro

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