Recruiter insists college painting not a scam

By Brent Constantin

Impressionable first-year University of Calgary geomatics student Renee Clarkson said she was definitely interested in a chance to earn more than her friends, all while working outdoors and getting a valuable experience no other university student can dream of.

“At first I was a bit skeptical that I would be able to coordinate all painting operations in north west Calgary when my previous job was cashier at Dairy Queen,” said Clarkson, who went on to explain her fears were alleviated after a three-hour training session where University Plus was able to educate recent high-school graduates on painting techniques professionals develop over several decades.

“If you become a manager you’ll have the chance to earn even more and develop amazing leadership abilities,” said University Plus affiliate Jennifer Brown, who had sidled up silently, effectively trapping students between her and the company’s display. “We also respect that every person is an individual, that’s why we let painters purchase all of their own supplies.”

Both England and Brown guaranteed students would be having such an outstanding time making so much money they wouldn’t even notice the 30 per cent commission University Plus takes from all sales arranged and staffed by students.

“The easiest part is that we’ll handle the business side!” England exclaimed. “All you need to do is contact your family and friends, and all of their social networks, for possible painting jobs, then it’s just a simple matter of doing the work.”

University Plus encouraged students to challenge themselves, offering clients’ houses painted in less than a day.

“You’re basically your own boss because you decide how much you get paid,” Brown extolled. “Finish quicker and you could make up to $20 an hour. How many of your friends can say that?”

Clarkson’s father Jeremy said he was initially skeptical when his 17-year-old daughter was unable to show him the 40-page contract she signed that stated she was legally accountable for up to $30,000 in potential losses to University Plus if she did not make her summer quota.

“They explained the contract had their company secrets inside of it and that’s good enough for me,” the elder Clarkson said. “Why would a huge multinational corporation that structures itself on the ever-increasing recruitment of uneducated and inexperienced young people have anything to hide?”

Regional bureau manager Steven Siu said he understands if some students are wary of signing into a long-term contract that guarantees they won’t take other employment for a certain period of time.

“We want all our franchisees to have an awesome summer,” Siu said. “That’s why once they set-up any high-paying corporate jobs we’ll help them out by taking the work off their hands.”

After attending an unpaid five-hour “test” painting session, Clarkson was certified by University Plus and convinced that, with the right attitude, she would make a wage that was in no way less than the minimum child-labour rate for former members of the Soviet Union because she had under-quoted the amount of time it would take to paint a home.

Former University Plus employee and betrayer Terry Goulet said he still harbours resentment towards the fantastic company that gave him business skills in sales, marketing and human resources he could never get at any normal summer job.

“I just couldn’t get used to the lack of job security,” the lazy, unmotivated Goulet complained. “I guess it’s okay for people who can tolerate working anywhere from zero to 60 hours a week because of frequent cancellations. It’s just not for me.”

Goulet said he is comfortable with his new position, salesperson for SliceCo Knives.

“These things are amazing,” Goulet told reporters, who were ensured that their lives were incomplete as long as they only used the one knife they currently own.

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