When 89-year-old Joe Bartley’s wife Cassandra passed away several years ago, he was left feeling isolated and with no direction or idea of what to do with all of his spare time.
Worried that he would literally die of boredom, Joe decided to place an advert in the local paper which 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!”
Little did Joe realise, that his advert would quickly go viral, and he was set to become somewhat of a local celebrity.
Joe was offered several television appearances, but most importantly, he received the job offers that he was so hoping to get, including one from a bakery that felt Joe could benefit from the therapeutic properties of baking.
“I’m a baker and even though it’s not complicated, it’s therapeutic, it’s quite a soulful thing to do – and I thought I’d offer him a job,” said Glenn Rodgers, an independent baker in Barnstable.
Unfortunately, Barnstable was too far for Joe to travel, so he took another position offered to him in Cantina Bar and Kitchen in Devon. Joe is thrilled about his new job and seems to have got people thinking about the importance of hiring older people.
“No matter what your age or your background, you deserve a chance,” said the bar’s co-owner Sarah Martin. “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 got a lift to work on his first day, but will now happily travel by bus.
Sarah Martin says that “He is delighted, and we are looking forward to it… when we saw the advert there was no question – the minute we saw it we knew we’d give him a job.”