Losing a job might be sad and tough, but it rarely gets this weird: a Kiwi adman has turned to the professionals for support during his redundancy meeting, hiring a clown to brighten up the event.
Proof of the bizarre incident was obtained by the NZ Herald, which published a photo on Friday from an internal meeting at the FCB advertising company showing two individuals, facing the soon to be fired staffer and his “support person” – a clown.
During the meeting, the clown blew up balloons and folded them into animals, including a unicorn and a poodle. He also mimed crying as the man received his paperwork.
As the story promptly went viral, the cheeky adman took to Facebook in to explain the bizarre stunt. He decided to seek emotional support after receiving an email from his now-ex-bosses seeking to “discuss” his role, admitting that the pick was a “touch unusual.”
“I thought it’s either a promotion or worse. I thought it’s best to bring in a professional and so I paid $200 and hired a clown,” the adman, who identified himself as Josh Thompson, told MediaWorks. “I mean I did get fired, but apart from that it was all smooth running.”
The presence of the clown – said to be one of the best in Auckland – did not jeopardize the meeting, Thompson insisted, though the balloons folding proved to be quite squeaky. The man revealed he has since returned to his home country of Australia and has already got a new job in advertising.
The “emotional support clown” would have been just a one-off stunt were it not for the growing prevalence of “emotional support animals.” Using “emotional support” certification to circumvent pet restrictions has become so widespread, many airlines have recently been forced to draw the line, after realizing that literally anything that moves can be classified as such. Last year, American Airlines banned emotional support snakes, goats, ferrets, and spiders from its planes. Horses, however, can still fly – one was spotted on a flight earlier this month. The Auckland episode shows that emotional support people are now a thing, too.
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