Walter Orthmann, a 100-year-old man from Brazil has been working for the same company since 1938. His career is now listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
Orthman started his work at the age of 15 with Industrias Renaux S.A., a textile company in Brusque, on January 17, 1938. He began as an assistant in the shipping department. Later, he was promoted to administrative assistant and, eventually, sales manager. During his 84-year-long career, Walter went on sales trips all over the world, received his paycheck in nine different currency denominations, and used nearly every commercial airline in the history of Brazilian aviation.
“You have to like to work. I started to work with that willingness and fighting spirit,” Walter Orthmann said when asked what kept him going for over eight decades. “You can’t just do any job to say that you are working. That doesn’t work. You’re not going to be able to stand it.”
In February of 2022, Walter Orthmann was officially listed in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest career in the same company (84 years and 9 days). On April 19, he turned 100, but he doesn’t plan to retire from the only company he has ever worked for.
He stated that his career began with no computers and no phones. Texts had to be typed on a typewriter and mailed. There was no public lighting, the streets were just dirt, which became muddy when it rained. There was no running water, and each house had its own well.
Everything is much easier today, Orthmann admits. All you need is a mobile phone and an internet connection, and you can coordinate a business from anywhere in the world. It’s thanks to technology that he can continue working, as he no longer travels like he used to.
He advised young people by saying, “Don’t be angry, do everything laughing. Just do what you like to do. I like working here at the company. Don’t have enemies. Apologize. Live calmly. Life is just a passage here on Earth, enjoy it, do what you want.”