An 89-year-old former soldier has posted an advert looking for a job – saying he is dying of boredom and can’t face living on benefits.
Widower Joe Bartley placed the ad for his services in his local paper as he has become sick of sitting at home alone with nothing to do.
The veteran was a member of the Airborne Forces and served with the Army in Palestine just after the Second World War and was later self employed as a signwriter.
But he says he has always been very active doing jobs round the home and gardening.
And despite only retiring at the age of 83 from a cleaning job he is now desperate for employment again to escape what he describes as ‘solitary confinement’ since his wife died two years ago.
The active pensioner of Paignton, Devon, says he feels he still has plenty to offer the work place and is hoping to be offered around 20 hours a week.
His advert, which appeared in the classified section of the Herald Express newspaper 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 services.”
“Save me from dying of boredom!”
And Mr Bartley said it was prompted by a dual desire to fill his days with something interesting to do – and stop him needing housing benefit.
He said: “I was a sign writer by trade and have always been an active man.
“I am still active enough now. My wife died two years ago and I am not a television person. I like reading but you can’t do that all the time and it has been like I have been living in solitary confinement.
“I just want to get a job for five hours a day – to earn enough to pay the rent.
“I am on housing benefit but I would much rather work and pay my own way which I have done my whole life. I am old fashioned like that.
“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. I don’t know how to explain it any better really, you feel more individual and you’re meeting people, you know making friends.”
“My wife died two years ago and and I can’t get used to living on my own and doing nothing.
“I am so fed up of being here stuck with nothing to do. There is only so much TV you can watch or books to read.
“I am still very capable of doing light menial work. I want a purpose to go out and the pride of having a job to go to five or six days a week.”
Mr Bartley said he was still waiting for an offer of permanent employment to come from his ad – and revealed it was not the first time he had come out of retirement.
He said: “I have always been in employment, but when I was 70 and retired I got a bit fed up. I saw a part time job at the college doing some cleaning.
“I never thought I would get it because of my age. But they phoned me back and offered me the job and I couldn’t believe it.
“I said: ‘but I am 70’ and he said that does not matter and I was the best person for it.”
He held that job for more than a decade before finally giving up work at the age of 83.
He said: “I have not been working for six years and we moved to Torbay when my wife was ill so she could be nearer her family.
“I have only got a step family and when my wife died two years ago I had to move into a flat.
“I am now seeking employment to save me from the boredom of living in my flat on my own.
“I am bored stiff. I am still active but when I come back to the flat I have nothing to do. I certainly can’t watch television all day.”