At 98, Joe Grier is believed to be the oldest full-time employee in the United States

Francis Akhalbey May 23, 2023
Joe Grier, 98, works seven days a week -- Photo Credit: FOX 32 Chicago

Joe Grier is the perfect epitome of age being just a number as the 98-year-old Chicago native remains hale and hearty and continues to go about his daily duties. According to FOX 32 Chicago, Grier, who still drives and celebrated his 98th birthday on May 9, is believed to be the oldest full-time employee in the United States.

The nonagenarian also impressively takes no days off as he works the entire week. Grier works as a craftsman at Victory, a division of The Planter Companies in North Austin, Chicago. Asked why he continues to work around the clock, the 98-year-old said it’s because it makes him feel good.

“I’m able to associate myself with things that I’ve associated myself with for so long. It’s a habit,” he explained. His job involves creating molds for trophies as well as awards. 

“He’s a mentor for everybody that works here. He’s just somebody who has been here for so long, who teaches us everything, who has taught us everything,” owner and head of The Planter Companies, Eric Priceman, said.

The nonagenarian revealed that his secret to his many, many, years of living is his ability to control his own thinking. Besides that, Grier also said his other secret is having a vocabulary that is devoid of negative words, adding that he also sees opportunities in problems. 

“It’s how you look at them and how you deal with them and then, they’re no longer a problem,” Grier told FOX 32 Chicago. Priceman also believes his veteran employee is “gonna be around forever. “I tell him he can’t retire until he’s 108,” he added.

Grier also said life is good and he “laughs a lot.” “It’s easy for me to laugh. Perhaps it’s because of my long years of living and the things that I’ve experienced, most things are funny,” he revealed. 

He has also opened up about his work ethic in the past. In a 2020 interview with FOX 32 Chicago, the nonagenarian spoke about showing up for work seven days a week despite the pandemic. The news outlet stated that during the pandemic, Grier continued training new colleagues at the Victory’s factory.

The 98-year-old revealed his several years of work experience does not make him panic when he encounters different problems. “Whatever comes up, I’ve already been through it,” he said. “So, I have no surprises. In other words, I’ve said: ‘Whatever comes next, bring it on. What’s next?’”

As he experiences his 90s, Grier said one of his aims is to “help as many people as I can, not just on an industrial level, but on a personal level.” 

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023

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