Having someone to rant to and do nothing with is important, especially when mental health is such a prevalent topic during the pandemic.
A 37-year-old Japanese man, Shoji Morimoto, has been renting himself out to anyone who wants to have someone around, for any reason.
According to Mainichi, he has been advertising himself as a person who can ‘eat and drink, and give simple feedback, but do nothing more’ since June 2018, and he’s received over 3,000 requests so far.
He started off doing ‘rent-a-person who does nothing’ for free, but since then, he’s started charging 10,000 yen (RM385.22) per session.
Among the various reasons he’s been rented for, he’s participated in a gaming session to fill a team, turned up to send people off as they moved, accompanied people as they filed for divorce, and listened to health care workers who are mentally exhausted because of their work.
He’s committed to ‘doing nothing’ and provides back-channel cues to those who want to have sessions with him.
“I myself don’t like to be cheered on by others. I get upset when people simply tell me to keep on trying. When someone is trying to do something, I think the best thing to do is help lower the bar for them by staying on their side,” he shared.
Shoji had initially graduated with a degree and found work with a publisher, but he left his job as he found it hard to fit in. His boss had even sarcastically said to him, “It doesn’t matter if you’re here or not.”
He later found inspiration from a person who did nothing but got treated to meals, prompting him to set up a Twitter account to offer his services.
“I’m not a friend or an acquaintance. I’m free of the bothersome things that accompany relationships, but [I] can ease people’s sense of loneliness. Maybe it’s something like that for me,” he added.
Since then, his Twitter account has grown a following of 261,300 people.
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