Man losing his job brings emotional support clown to redundancy meeting
Being called into a meeting at work is never a nice experience, especially when you think your job is on the line. The thought of losing your job and the salary that comes with it can be a daunting prospect, which is why many companies allow for an individual to have somebody accompany them for emotional support.
However, in lieu of a friend, fellow colleague, union rep, or family member, one New Zealander decided to bring the next best thing to help him through his difficult time - a clown.
In a series of images sent to the New Zealand Herald, advertising worker Josh Thompson (known as Joshua Jack online) can be seen sitting in a redundancy meeting next to his emotional support clown, as higher-ups relieve him of his job.
The soon-to-be-former employee of media company FCB revealed he had hired the clown for $200. The Herald reports that the clown blew up balloons and folded them into a series of animals - including a unicorn and a poodle - throughout the meeting, and proceeded to mime crying as Josh was handed his redundancy paperwork.
In a follow-up interview with the Herald, Josh explained that he had held his copywriter position at FCB since April, but after receiving an email saying that the company was scheduling a meeting "to discuss [Josh's] role", he knew he needed the right support.
Speaking to MediaWorks, Josh said:
"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. I mean I did get fired, but apart from that it was all smooth running.
"It was rather noisy him making balloon animals so we had to tell him to be quiet from time to time. Basically he was, I assume, one of the best clowns in Auckland - they were getting a free service, they were also getting the entertainment from Joe the Clown."
Taking to Facebook, the aspiring comedian revealed his side of the story:
"A while ago, I got a job. A short while later, I lost it. For anyone who hasn’t been fired, what happens is they schedule a serious meeting and advise you to bring a ‘support person'.
"Sensing the bad news, I decided I’d need the best support person available, so I spent $200 to hire a clown. Today, somehow, it’s the top [story] in the New Zealand Herald."
A spokesperson from FCB told the NZ Herald that it is agency policy not to comment on individual employment matters out of respect for the persons involved. They did, however, say that Joshua's meeting was up there in one of the weirdest stories she had ever been contacted about.
Per the Herald, the recent restructure at FCB follows on from job cuts at the agency after the loss of the Vodafone ad account.
Josh has since secured a new job with DDB.