older worker blog
Meet David Fennell
Occupation: Door supervisor at The Wolsley Restaurant, Piccadilly
Which area of UK do you live/ work in: Live in Reigate work in the West End
1. How would you describe what you do?
I am first and last point of contact at The Wolsley. So I meet, greet and say farewell to all of our guests. I try to make the start and end of their evenings feel personable and special. I want to make our guests feel welcome and cared for - making regulars feel highly valued, and making newcomers want to come back.
2. What do you, as an older worker, bring to your role?
I bring years and years of varied experience to my work. After a lifetime spent in the worlds of theatre and hospitality, I have learnt an awful lot about people. On a door like the Wolseley, and a street like Piccadilly, we see the best and sadly sometimes the worst in people. My job is to treat them all with the same level of care and hospitality that benefits the Wolsley, and indeed every Corbin & King, restaurant. A big smile and a genuinely warm greeting sets a tone and begins a relationship. I then ask questions and make connections with people.
3. What challenges are faced by older workers?
Society undervalues experience. Older people have lived a lot of years, and seen a lot of things. We have a lot to give. There is prejudice regarding an older person's abilities and assumptions that they are past it. At 76 I see no reduction in my energy or work ethic.
4. Your pearls of wisdom: What advice would you give to your younger self, or to other older people looking for their next role?
When you are young, pay more attention to older people. When you’re older, have confidence in your abilities. All of your life experience will help you to better understand people and cope with what they bring to the party. Don’t judge people on reputation or appearance. They are full of surprises. Most of them good.
5. What would your Other Dream Job be?
This is my dream job, and I am very lucky to have found it. Lockdown has reminded me a thing that I knew already, that I love my job and miss it terribly.
David Fennell, 76
The Wolsely Restaurant, London
Society undervalues experience...
When you are older have confidence in your abilities...