Emotional support workers and animals are increasingly used to help people cope with everything from mental health issues to traumatic situations to leg space on airplanes. But one New Zealander had an epiphany: Why settle for being calmed down by some sadness expert or fluffy goofball when you can get both for the price of one, with some pie gags thrown in?
New Zealand law dictates that people are allowed to bring a "support person" to any meeting that could end with them being fired. So when (former) copywriter and stand-up comedian Josh Thompson was told he could bring a friend to work, he knew that conversation was going to absolutely suck. But Thompson realized there was some wriggle room in the law: Nowhere did it state who you can bring as your emotional support. So instead of turning to a pet, parent, or pastor, Thompson chose a party clown.
For 200 New Zealand dollars (roughly 130 USD), Thompson hired the very professionally named Joe the Clown to sit in on his unfortunate redundancy meeting. Dressed to the nines in a rainbow bowtie, a blue wig, and comically wide trousers, Joe offered emotional support by periodically miming crying and crafting balloon animals -- which the bosses asked him to stop doing several times, because they couldn't hear themselves firing Thompson over the constant squeaking.
Despite the meeting ending with him losing his livelihood, Thompson did recommend employing an emotional support clown. After all, even if they don't manage to cheer you up, you can take comfort in knowing that even at your lowest, you're not the one putting on makeup and oversized shoes to get kicked in the nuts at some kid's birthday party.
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