The student I turned down is now doing my job
Warning: post contains injury picture
I broke my wrist last Thursday. My right, and I’m right handed, at the start of what are typically my two busiest months of the year.
I was booked solid with alterations, bespoke creations and embroidered veil orders and one split-second stumble backwards rendered me on my arse in every sense. I have a Colles distal radial fracture, more technically known as A Proper Number.
By Friday lunchtime, I’d found that I could accomplish many routine tasks with my left hand, even if brushing my teeth was more like punching myself in the face. Crucially I could still sew, with the exception of some techniques, BUT I couldn’t cut fabric.
The largest scissors I could wield were my tiny stork-shaped embroidery scissors which barely nibble fabric, and I couldn’t exert enough pressure on my rotary cutter to get the blade through even the lightest tulle.
So, painstakingly (and painfully), I typed out a message with one thumb, dropping my phone on my foot a couple of times, to the A-Level student I’d told the previous week that I couldn’t take in for work experience.
Krishal came over almost immediately and I liked him even more quickly than that. Actually, everything was speedy. He’d said he was a fast learner and I threw him in at the deep end with techniques he’d never used; he swam with them all. Rotary cutter, narrow-hem machine foot, seam ripper: all nailed first time.
Get this: he’d never used a seam ripper (aka stitch unpicker, the Ctrl+Z of sewing) because he’d never needed to. He’d never sewn a thing wrong. Ever. Including on his first A-Level project, an ambitious cocktail mini-dress with crinoline underskirt in fabric he dyed himself.
Not only that, but he’s taught himself French and Japanese, because he wants to work in Paris and Tokyo. And he’s a gifted musician. And tennis player. And 5,000m runner. Oh, and he’s been approached by a modelling agency.
We’ve been geeking out about sewing AND linguistics AND Disney films (these are a few of my favourite things 🎶) and I think I want to adopt him.
A week on, I’m sustaining fewer facial injuries while cleaning my teeth and I can now cut fabric again. Far from simply shadowing and observing me on work experience and making cups of tea, Krishal has been doing skilled work for which I have paid him the rate I would receive for the same jobs.
He is clearly someone who will go far. Of his mum and dad refuse to surrender their parental rights to me, I at least hope that one day, while jetting between his Paris and Tokyo ateliers, Krishal remembers me and that he was once – literally – my right hand man.
Arigatou gozaimasu et bon chance, mon ami!