LONDON — An 89-year-old war veteran has been inundated with job offers after his ad looking for work to save him from "dying of boredom" went viral.
Joe Bartley from Paignton, Devon, retired 6 years ago, but discovered that unemployed life wasn't for him.
Suffering from boredom and loneliness, he put an advert in his local newspaper, the Herald Express, hoping to find something to occupy his time and allow him to meet new people.
— Herald Express (@TQHeraldExpress) November 29, 2016
The ad reads:
Bartley, whose wife Cassandra passed away two years ago, spoke to the Guardian about his loneliness.
"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. Once you walk into that flat it's like solitary confinement," he said.
The pensioner, originally from Liverpool, was a member of the Airborne Forces and served in the armed forces for 11 years.
Joe Bartley. 89 wants a job, why? Bored stiff since his wife died and wants to come off benefit and pay his own rent! What a soldier. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FfOpM2sGZM
— Jon (@jon_bahadur) November 30, 2016
Bartley believes that finding a job would help curb his loneliness and make him feel more like himself again.
"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 in an interview with ITV news.
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 28, 2016
Although he has received several offers of work following the recent wave of media attention, Bartley is hoping to find regular part-time work to supplement his pension.
"I wanted at least 20 hours and then I can cover the rent. I get housing support, which is great, but I want to be my own man and pay my own way," he told The Guardian.
So how does the 89-year-old feel about his new celebrity status following the attention?
"Rather chuffed. The thing that has always kept me going is my sense of humour. I like a laugh — and I like a happy ending."