Joe Bartley, an 89-year-old veteran from the small English seaside town of Paignton, retired six years ago.
Considering that would make him 83 at the time, i.e. 18 years past the state’s pension age, you’d think he’d be ecstatic to sit back and bask in the golden years. But no, not Joe – he was bored as hell.
He was so engulfed by ennui, in fact, that he started looking for work out of fear that he might die of boredom. He also said working made him feel like himself.
“I would feel more like Joe — now I don’t feel like Joe because I’ve got to depend on the Council for rent and everything else. You see when you’re working for yourself you’re more or less self-contained,” he said.
“I don’t know how to explain it any better really, you feel more individual and you’re meeting people, you know making friends.”
What kind of work is he looking for? Well, anything really. Here’s what he wrote in a personal ad in a local newspaper:
“Work wanted. 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!”
“I don’t care if it is menial work, I am a working man and I just need a job,” Bartley said.
Since posting the ad – and the subsequent social media buzz – Bartley has received at least three job offers.