Real Life

Pensioner given job in bar to stop him 'dying of boredom'

Joe Bartley appealed for work after becoming increasingly isolated following the death of his wife two years ago.

Photo: BBC News
A pensioner has been offered a part-time job in a bar, after he appealed for work to prevent him “dying of boredom.”
Ever since his wife passed away two years ago, Joe Bartley has been living on his own in Devon, England.
The 89-year-old, who is also a war veteran, has no children with his late wife Cassandra, and has lost contact with his remaining family and friends.
Being retired and so isolated, Joe says he feels like he is living in “solitary confinement.”
He told The Guardian: “I miss my wife dreadfully, and 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.”
The ad Joe placed in the Herald Express
To combat his loneliness, Joe put the word out that he was looking for work.
He placed an ad in his local newspaper, the Herald Express, pleading for someone to give him a job. It didn’t work the first time, but on the second running he finally had some luck.
The ad read: “Senior citizen 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!”
And after the paper ran the ad a second time, Joe was contacted by Cantina Bar and Kitchen, in local town Paignton.
Owner Kate Allen told the BBC: “Not many people are that pro-active, let alone an 89-year-old, so I could not let him go.
“I liked him straight away when I spoke to him on the phone.
“We’re really happy to have him,” she added.
Joe will now be clearing tables and helping with other tasks at the restaurant, where he is happy to have a role.
After finding out about his new job, Joe says the first thing he did was pour himself “a stiff drink.”
If you’re interested in helping older people in your area, visit Age Concern NZ.