Sunday, March 28, 2010

 Oldest Meeter-Greeter - Syd Prior sets world record

  LONDON, UK  -- Syd Prior, 95, works one day a week as a Meeter and Greeter at B&Q's New Malden store, in Burlington Road , setting the world record for the Oldest Meeter-Greeter.

   (enlarge photo)

   "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."

   The world's Oldest Meeter-Greeter described his secret to staying young as plenty of socialising, lunches out and nights at the theatre.

   "I started at B&Q Wimbledon when I was 76 years of age, I'm now 95 and I'm in my twentieth year. When I started I thought I might be here 1 year or 2 at the most and here I am."

   Before joining B&Q he'd been a sales manager, a green grocer and served in the British army.

   The oldest meeter-greeter in the world started working when he was 14 and has never been without a job since.

   "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.

   B&Q 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.

   B&Q 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 work."

   The Oldest Meeter-Greeter in the world doesn't have a garden of his own - the one at work is all he needs and he's not retiring yet.
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   Related world records:
   Oldest Practicing Doctor - world record set by Dr Walter Watson

  Longest serving paper girl - world record set by Darlyne Markus

  Longest career in the same store - world record set by Roy Goggs

    Oldest Barber - world record set by Anthony Mancinelli  

   Sunday, March 28, 2010

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    [World Record Certificate



     Oldest Practicing Doctor - Dr Walter Watson

       Longest-serving paper boy - Ted Ingram

       Youngest passenger on wheightless flight

           Oldest college graduate-Nola Ochs