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Lolo, 73, gets job as call center agent to stave off loneliness over wife's death

A 73-year-old grandfather has gone viral after applying for a job as a call center agent in Bogo City, Cebu.

According to Mariz Umali's report on "24 Oras," Thursday, Rotello Escanilla attended a job fair organized by a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company and the local government on January 29.

A former salesman, Tatay Rotello has been enjoying his retirement since 2008. However, he thought about returning to work to take his mind off the sadness from losing his wife in 2016.

"I go into this venture as a diversion lang para mawala 'yung isip ko, 'yung utak ko from, you know, the loneliness," he said.

Tatay Rotello said he also does not want to impose on his children to send him money. He currently lives with one of his kids and his seven grandchildren.

When he went to the job fair, he was noticed by an IT officer of the local government, Rodge Tonacao, who then posted about him on Facebook.

"I thought at first na he was just trying to accompany his grandchildren and then later we found out na siya pala mismo 'yung nag-a-apply," Rodge said.

The senior citizen, who studied commerce and had previous experience in the BPO industry, did not ask for special treatment during the application process and fell in line like everyone else.

He was hired on the same day after catching the attention of the hiring committee with his ability to blend in right away among his co-applicants, many of whom are Millennials. Even before landing the job, he was already exchanging jokes with the young ones.

"Di ba masaya because generally mga kabataan medyo hyped up 'yan eh, mga energized 'yan eh," Tatay Rotello said. "Gusto ko 'yung attitude ng mga kabataan na masaya, they're always happy, nakakapag-TikTok 'yan ayos na 'yan."

He added that senior citizens still have something to offer to companies despite their advanced age.

"Kailangan lang talaga adjustment sa employers na ma-accommodate din 'yung mga senior citizen in whatever way possible," he said.

Last year, a 66-year-old lolo also went viral for landing a position at a call center after 12 failed job applications.

—MGP, GMA News