100-Year-Old Employee Celebrates 84 Years Working for the Same Company

Andrei Tapalaga

Walter Orthmann, 100, was awarded a Guinness World Record after working for 84 years and 9 days at the same company.Guinness World Records

Dedication is something that is becoming more scarce, especially in this new era of work where younger generations shift from one job to another at a much higher rate than previous generations. Job security seems to become a word of the past, but not for Walter Orthmann, who has just been awarded the Guinness World Record for working at the same company for 84 years and 9 days

Based on an official statistic from 2020, the average employee within the US spends 4.1 years in one company after moving to a different job. There seems to be a trend with this statistic, as the years pass that period of time is getting shorter. 

Walter Orthmann is from Brazil and on April 19th celebrated his 100th Birthday. On January 17th, 1938 he applied to work at a company called Industrias Renaux S.A, now known as Renaux S.A. At the time when he applied for employment, he was only 15 years old and his first role at the company was shipping assistant

Now, after 84 years of working at the same company, Walter is more than an employee, but the family member of the organization with whose members he celebrated his many birthdays. 

“When we do what we like, we don’t see the time go by.”(Quote by Walter Orthmann)

Walter came from a German family, but he was born in Brusque, a small town in Santa Catarina, Brazil which has a large German population. Walter was forced by his predicament to work from a young age as he came from a poor family. What helped him get the job was knowing German, which was needed as a lot of the company's products were shipped at the time to Germany.

With time and as Walter matured he was promoted to better positions, with more responsibilities. 

“I was given the opportunity to work as a salesperson. I traveled to São Paulo and in less than one week I filled the production with orders equivalent to three months of work.” (Quote by Walter Orthmann)

Throughout his 84 years of work, he has seen the company undergo many changes and has worked in almost all of the roles available. Walter described that it was his passion that held him in the same company for so many years. One of his favorite roles was during his fifties when he traveled across the country to establish good relationships with business partners and customers. 

This isn’t the first time he actually set a world record. In 2019, he won the same record for working in the same company for 81 years and 85 days. When the Guinness World Records association heard that he turned 100, they decided to give him a new record, despite him being the sole record holder in this niche category. 

“I don’t do much planning, nor care much about tomorrow. All I care about is that tomorrow will be another day in which I will wake up, get up, exercise and go to work; you need to get busy with the present, not the past or the future. Here and now is what counts. So, let’s go to work!” (Quote by Walter Orthmann)

Walter’s work ethic shows a different perspective from what is considered the norm today. Last year a new record was also set by the US population, with 4.3 million employees quitting their jobs in the month of August 2021, the highest ever seen. Hopefully, Walter will have some competitors for his world record in the future. 

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