When one New Zealand man was facing redundancy, he brought a dash of color -- and some balloon animals -- to the meeting where he got laid off.
Employers in New Zealand are legally required to offer employees the chance to bring a "support person" to help cushion the blow of losing their job, but the human resources department at Josh Thompson's former advertising agency in Auckland were likely not expecting him to turn up with a professional clown for company.
A picture of the meeting, taken through the FCB New Zealand boardroom window, started circulating online, before the clown-friendly copywriter was identified and shared his story.
After receiving an unexpected email from his employer regarding a discussion of his role, Josh feared the worst and responded in a way that he now admits 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," Thompson told Magic Talk radio.
The clown turned into the ideal hire for the occasion, providing support by lightening the mood with balloon animals.
"It was rather noisy him making balloon animals so we had to tell him to be quiet from time to time," Thompson said.
Despite losing his job at the agency, the aspiring comedian is trying to look on the bright side. "I mean I did get fired, but apart from that it was all smooth running," he said.
Josh's clown companion has brightened up offices across the globe, with his humorous tale making headlines worldwide. Thompson has even already landed himself a new job, where he hopefully won't need any jester backup any time soon.