The ‘bored’ 89-year-old ex-soldier who wanted a job now works in a cafe

David Harding
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The ‘bored’ 89-year-old ex-soldier who wanted a job now works in a cafe


Bored no more. Joe starts work as a waiter on Sunday (SWNS)

An 89-year-old former soldier who wanted a job to stop him ‘dying of boredom’ is off to work in a cafe.

Joe Bartley, a veteran who served and worked as a wireless operator with the Royal Signals in Palestine, will prep food, clean and wait tables at the Cantina Kitchen and Bar in Paignton, Devon.

He said he was ‘over the moon’ after getting the job, which involved him having his first ever interview.

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“I don’t think I’ve had a job interview before. It was a breeze, I wasn’t nervous. I’m over-the-moon.

You’re hired! Joe at the Cantina cafe (SWNS)

“I’m joyfully surprised at the outcome – I’m really glad I got it. I start on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people here already. They all seem really nice and one lady gave me a kiss.

“You don’t see anybody where I am – in a flat – so I’m looking forward to getting involved and meeting people.”

Staff at the Cantina said they were not patronising Joe and theirs was a genuine offer of work (SWNS)

The widower began his job search a week ago because he was “dying of boredom” and was desperate not to live on state handouts.

And after his appeal went across the world he was inundated with offers within days – but was chosen by his local cafe.

He impressed the cafe owner with his “zest for life” and “great people skills” and was offered a job on the spot.

Joe’s first shift is on Sunday.

He lives alone after his wife Cassie died last year and has no children.

He hopes to work around 20 hours a week, possibly every day at the venue – and says he would also be keen on a bit of overtime.

Joe made headlines after he said he was desperate to work and not ‘die of boredom’ (SWNS)


Joe’s trial shift begins at 11am – when they serve roast dinners – and he hopes it will be the start of a long career.

He added: “It’s crazy – I didn’t think this would happen.

“I just want enough to cover my rent. I don’t want to live on benefits.”

Co-owner Kate Allen, 43, said: “”We’re really looking forward to having him.

“We’re not in the business of patronising Joe. This is a genuine offer of work.

“He’d like to do 20 hours or overtime a week and I’m picking him up on Sunday for his first shift.”

Paignton resident Margaret Berwick, 75, said: “This is my local cafe.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him – I’ve just given him a kiss.

“He is a dear old boy – I like him.”