An 89-year-old has found a job after placing an advert in his local paper asking for part-time work to stop him ‘dying of boredom’. Joe Bartley, from Paignton in south Devon, is due to start work at a cafe in the town after the owners of the family-run business spotted his ad.
“No matter what your age or your background, you deserve a chance,” Cantina Bar and Kitchen’s co-owner Sarah Martin told The Guardian. “Most people have got something to offer and Joe is someone who is keen, who is putting himself out there. What is not to like about that? A lot of people who come here don’t just come for coffee, they come for a chat, so Joe is perfect.”
Joe put an advert in the Herald Express twice last month. It read: “Senior citizen, 89, seeks employment in Paignton area. 20hrs+ per week. Still able to clean, light gardening, DIY and anything. I have references. Old soldier, airborne forces. Save me from dying of boredom!”
He said he had been overwhelmed by the response to the advert: “The owner phoned me and said she was interested, and asked me to come in. So I arrived at the cafe and we’ve had a bit of a chat with the owner, and shook hands.”
Joe has lived alone since his wife, Cassandra, died two years ago, and has been lonely. “When you live on your own there is no one to speak to. Since she died I’ve moved into a flat and it’s a big block. Once you walk into that flat it’s like solitary confinement.”
Joe also got a job offer from The Ginger Breadman bakery in Barnstaple, the owner explained he wanted the pensioner to know he had been offered a job in the hope that it would put a ‘smile on his face’. But Barnstaple was a little too far.
His new employer Sarah said: “He is delighted, and we are looking forward to it. We think about these things all the time. We are never going to be rich, but we like to give something back, so when we saw the advert there was no question – the minute we saw it we knew we’d give him a job.”