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WASHINGTON — There isn’t a “you break it, you buy it” rule here for those affected by the government shutdown.
The Break It “anger room” or “rage room” is offering those who are furloughed a place to take out their frustrations free of charge with complimentary smashing sessions at their Fredericksburg, Virginia, location.
“It’s something cathartic for them and especially with what’s going on with their lives I think that it’s the perfect fit for them,” said Monica May, owner of Break It in Fredericksburg.
Furloughed workers simply email the location through their website to receive a 5-minute session with 10 breakable items.
Items to break vary, as they are donated through local businesses, but they often include things, such as liquor bottles, computer monitors, modems, stereos, DVDs, furniture, chairs and dressers.
The business is all about keeping those “raging” safe during their sessions. Break It provides all of the safety equipment, along with the items to break.
May said that the business has already received close to two dozen calls in the last couple of days. She said that they’re going to keep offering the free sessions until they reach capacity.
“I’m just going to keep going, and I will let everyone know if we reached our cap and there’s a waiting list. But, we’ll try our best to take as many people as we can,” May said.
Availability for the stress-relieving offer mostly depends on whether they can keep up with donations of stuff to break.
“As long as we can keep those donations up we can still be able to provide the services for the furloughed workers,” May said.
For May, she said that she can relate to the furloughed workers and their frustrating at this time in their lives.
May and her husband were going through a devastating time and decided that opening up a way for others to relieve stress brought them comfort in their lives as well.
“My husband and I lost a child in 2017, and we got sick ourselves and almost died of the flu; and it was just a bunch of anger and things that were out of our control in our lives that kind of made us feel like we needed a change,” May said.
Someone brought up the notion of anger rooms that were offered in Japan and starting to pop up in the United States and they decided to take the leap.
“We thought that the idea was just crazy and out there,” May said. “We saw that it was successful all across the world and even in the United States there were a few that were already up and running and we looked at each other and said, ‘Why not? Let’s give it a shot.’”