In one of the strangest stories we've seen recently, a New Zealand advertising executive hired a "support clown" to accompany him to a meeting where he was laid off by their company, the Auckland-based advertising firm FCB.
An image sent to the New Zealand Herald showed the clown sitting in on the meeting, where he reportedly made balloon animals and engaged in other clown-like hijinx while the HR staff went through the details of the employee's severance package.
When the redundancy paperwork was handed over to the staffer, the clown reportedly mimed crying.
Over the past few years, the media has been rife with stories about strange 'support animals' accompanying people in public places and on flights. Some of the stranger 'support' animals have included squirrels, peacocks and goats.
A spokesperson for the firm told the Herald that the agency has a policy of not commenting on employment matters. However, in an email titled "Coulrophobia" - a term for the pathological fear of clowns - the spokesperson admitted that it was one of the weirdest stories she had ever been asked to comment on.
Fortunately for the staffer, who was laid off after the agency lost a major Vodafone ad account, he has reportedly landed on his feet: he got a new job at DDB alongside his creative partner. They will reportedly start their new roles next week.