‘My granny’s died’

I’ve spent the last two days styling up-and-coming models and working with a new assistant who I shall call J. She’s not really an assistant as much as a trainee assistant but so far I’m quite impressed. She spent yesterday pre-empting my needs (the golden rule of being an A-plus fashion assistant student), ironing without burning and interviewing models. The project is a commentary on wannabe models and their aspirations. So far the models have included a girl whose favourite model is Tyra Banks (‘she’s nice and she looks nice’), another whose parents don’t mind her modelling ‘but would rather I’d played handball as a career’ and a third whose dream job is ‘a shoot with a horse’. But the majority of our time was spent hanging around waiting for the photographer to finish faffing with his lights and polyboards. So I was pleasantly surprised when J turned up on day 2. From past experience, when the job isn’t all fun and games it’s not uncommon for the assistant (read: work experience) to call in the next day claiming ‘my granny’s died so I won’t be coming back in’. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not unsympathetic when grandparents pass away but it’s surprising how common these granny deaths are when someone is on a less-than-exhilerating work placement. When I worked on a magazine, we had three of these ‘my granny’s died’ phone calls in three months. The point is, if the job isn’t shaping up to involve parties, free swag and interviewing celebs then by all means share your concerns, give us a chance to put things right or even make up some other excuse. But please, don’t trot out the old granny cliche. Believe me, we can see straight through it!

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12 Responses to ‘My granny’s died’

  1. miss cavendish says:

    Oh my–my college students must have multiple grannies from exceptionally branchy family trees.

  2. Top bird says:

    Oh good grief, how pathetic. I usually get the phone-ins about sudden onsets of gastro. Death is a new one.

  3. zoe says:

    From my perspective as a fashion student constantly on the look out for work experience, I find it hard to believe more people aren’t just grateful for a placement and really exited to be doing anything within the industry. That’s my outlook anyway :-)

  4. Sal says:

    Three in three months? That must’ve been hard to take!

  5. Anonymous says:

    haha this is funny. a girl who i work with just started working here and a week after had to go on her vacation a week early cuz her “granny was dying.” i didn’t suspect it at the time and i still think it was true, but its really funny to think about it now!!

  6. Make Do and Mend says:

    how funny – my clients today where bemoaaning a worker who was a none show as his daughter was ill – I said yeah right that’s just like the ‘my grans died’ line!
    And guess what you’ve writtne about it – spooky

  7. miss cavendish says:

    BTW, I’ve even got “My boyfriend’s grandmother is sick . . .”

  8. the fashion assistant says:

    Maybe they weren’t use to doing all the ironing, steaming, unpacking, hanging clothes up and packing….and they thought ‘I deserve more than this!’

    Most new assistants working with fashion stylist tend to start from the bottom….it sucks but you’ll learn all the vital skills.

  9. Bombchell says:

    lol @ first when i read the topic, I thought your grannie did die, then i read the post & laughed.

    hmm you would think watching "The Hills" would at least give them 10% realistic expectations (the girls worked at teen vogue)

  10. enc says:

    That’s funny—these young ‘uns think they’re inventing something new, not knowing we all pulled that trick at one point or another in our careers.

    I think all that stuff sounds fun, and I’ll come take the place of J if she never returns. You know where to find me.

  11. skinnyGLASSESgirl says:

    WOW! You can call me and i’ll come be your assistant! ;oP I’d feel too bad using the “somebody died” excuse-with my luck they would die!

  12. MsQuiche says:

    LMAO – that’s too funny. I haven’t heard anything as extreme as passing of grannies, but I’ve had ’emergencies’ of all kinds the moment they realise that editorial work is 99% hard graft with the odd freebie thrown in for good measure, and not the other way round.

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