"Working with people of all ages gives youngsters
the chance to learn a little from an old timer like myself,
and they help to keep me young at heart," he explained. "I
have no plans to retire any time soon."
"When I was 76 and first started the job
the manager took me on solely because he had a special job
he wanted done and he couldn't get the youngsters to do it
because they found it boring. I stuck it for three and half
years before they transferred me to garden."
After working for 81 years, Syd's taking
it easy - he only works one day a week.
"I've recommended it to so many people.
They live their lives behind net curtains, but I want to do
something useful and it brings in a bit of money and keeps
me fit." "Meeters-Greeters" is the person who
greet the customer at the store to answer any possible questions
regarding the store's services or products and to give advise
as to the best options available.
He/she provides the customer with all requested
information, advises on certain issues, and can assists in
completing any required documentation. The Meeter-Greeter
can also help the customer to find the appropriate specialist.
say they don't actively seek to recruit the older generation
but it does have its advantages.
Mat Marshall, Duty Manager: "They've
lived their life. most of them are people that over 60 have
had their families, lived in a home, redecorated their home
two or three times, rebuilt different homes, moved from different
houses, so they've experience of life."
More than a quarter of B&Q's
staff are aged over 50 and the company's diversity and engagement
manager Leon Foster-Hill insisted the older generation had
a vital role to play.
He said: "The older workers employed
in our stores, like Syd, have greater life experience and
a true willingness to work, which means they can pass on their
knowledge and skills to customers and younger members of staff."
Syd Prior, the world's
Oldest Meeter-Greeter, is something of a novelty
but that could start to change. As people live longer and
economies grow, more companies will be forced to look at the
older generation for its workforce.
realised two decades ago that the over-50s were good employees
when it owned a shop staffed entirely by over-50s which had
higher profits and less absenteeism than any other store in
the group. Since then, it has actively sought out older employees.
A study published last year by the
World Economic Forum showed that over 50s make up the majority
of the labor force in Finland and Switzerland.
Syd Prior: "There are those people
that can't wait to retire, they think I'm mad, they think
I'm absolutely mad because they have got 10 grandchildren
they want to visit, they play three rounds of golf a week,
they've got a garden, they've got an allotment, then there's
the other side, people that envy me because they live in a
high rise block of flats.They don't see anybody from one end
of the day to another and they would just love to go out to