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!