A New Zealand man thought he was going to get fired after getting a call for a work meeting. He did what any worker would do: hire an emotional support clown.
Joshua Jack's fear of losing his job was spot on, confirming via video call with Newshub NZ that his employer, advertising agency FCB, relieved him last week. But having his emotional support clown Joe during the meeting "lightened the mood," he said, as per a report in The Washington Post.
Jack "thought it’s either a promotion or worse" when he received the call from his supervisors and scheduled a meeting. "I thought it’s best to bring in a professional and so I paid $200 and hired a clown."
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He was officially jobless after the meeting, but he didn't go home empty-handed as Joe the clown gifted him with two balloon animals: a unicorn and a poodle, according to the Post. The clown reportedly mimed crying while Jack went over the paperwork describing his dismissal.
Blowing the balloons up and forming them into shape got "rather nosy," said Jack, adding that those in the meeting "had to tell [Joe the clown] to be quiet from time to time." Although, the former ad agency worker's colleagues said they "thought it spiced up the meeting," when Newshub NZ asked for their reactions about the clown.
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Fortunately, Jack found a new job and will start this week although it is unsure if Joe the clown will be there to support him on his first day.
Emotional support clowns like Joe are usually hired for children. For instance, the US branch of Clowns Without Borders, which opened in 1995 and describes itself as a group that "brings laughter where it's needed the most," sends clowns to conflict zones, refugee camps, and places under emergency to play with children and give them momentary relief from suffering, the Post says.