Sensing the End, Employee Brings Support Clown to Meeting

A New Zealand man facing the ax at work brought an emotional-support clown to his recent redundancy meeting so the $200 performer could provide comedic relief as his bosses fired him

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New Zealand legally requires employers to allow workers the option of bringing a support person to serious disciplinary meetings, usually relating to an employee's prospective dismissal.

An Auckland advertising copywriter brought a clown to his redundancy meeting, as first reported in the New Zealand Herald on Friday.

Josh Thompson, who goes by Joshua Jack online, payed $200 for the clown to mime crying when the paperwork was handed over and blow up balloons.

Thompson had been working as a copywriter at FCB, after starting employment there in April.

News of Thompson's decision to bring in an emotional support clown has now reached as far afield as the US, India, and the UK.

USA Today Post said Thompson made sure he "had the last laugh" at the meeting, while DNA India labelled it "a freakish but innovative move".

A support dog just wasn't going to cut it. Today, somehow, it's the top story story in the New Zealand Herald'.

Others shared their thoughts on social media.

Jack did get fired in the end, but he said his bosses at the advertising agency FCB were grateful he chose to "spice up the meeting" and "could see the humorous side".

"Meanwhile, the firm was so impressed, the clown starts on Monday", joked another.

'Sensing the bad news, I decided I'd need the best support person available, so I spent $200 to hire a clown.

"A while ago, I got a job".

In an interview on MediaWorks, Thompson admitted the choice of his support person had been a "touch unusual".

When Joshua Jack was invited to a meeting by his bosses to "discuss your role" at a New Zealand ad agency, he figured what was up.

It's unclear when exactly the incident happened, but Thompson has since moved to Australia, where has secured a new job.

"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".

Mr Thompson revealed the clown, who he has nicknamed Joe, made balloon animals of a unicorn and poodle during the meeting.

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