Alexandria, VA

Want a divorce? Have to quit your job? Need to tell your family you crashed your car into the side of the Van Dorn Station Shopping Center?

Sometimes there’s no easy way to break bad news, so don’t. An Alexandrian is offering his services via Craigslist to break the bad news for you.

“Feel the overwhelming sense of relief from not having to be the bearer of bad news!” the man said in the ad. “Give anxiety and panic the boot! Save time and emotional energy! How? Hire me to deliver your bad news.”

According to the ad, potential services include telling a partner that you want to break up, telling a family member that you don’t like them, or telling a creepy dude at the library that you’re not interested in a relationship.

“Long story short, I have a day job where a byproduct is that I end up delivering bad news to people or companies,” the bad news bearer told ALXnow. “I figured that people would be interested in something similar for their personal lives too.”

The bad news bearer asked not to be identified by name, but allowed that he is an Alexandria resident and also a millennial. In theory, he said, the delivery service should function like any other freelance job.

“The gig economy right now seems set on saving people physical labor, but what about a service that saves people emotional labor,” he asked. “It wasn’t that long ago that people were worried about ridesharing services or the dangers of hosting someone in your house for money. Technology is always working to make physical lives easier but I have a feeling we are due for some emotional help and support as well.”

So far, the service has been mainly theoretical. The only bad news the bearer has had to break so far was to someone responding to the ad thinking the bad news bearer was a sex worker.

“This is sort of an experiment,” he said. “So far I have gotten several supportive emails but no official business.”

The rates are negotiable, but the bearer said the general idea is $10 will get someone a bad news text. An involved phone call is $50, and an in-person delivery could cost $100.

“Of course, that depends on the level of bad news, travel time, and the possibility of getting punched in the face,” the bad news bearer said.

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