I am a current employee with this company, College Works Painting, and I've got to say this is the best/worst job I've had. If you're a college student, I wouldn't recommend you even apply.
First off, I love painting. This is my first experiencing exterior-house painting, and I've fallen in love. So much so, that I want to start my own business. This company has taught me a lot of what not to do!
I've taught myself all I know about painting by watching Youtube Instructional Videos produced by professionals, and for a poor reason:
When I first showed up (first day), I was briefly instructed on how to use a brush (improperly). The DM (district manager) only taught us how to hold the brush and apply paint to the bristles. When it came time for me to paint the gutters, he did a quick hand motion and said, "Just like that. Should take a half hour." I was taught ladder safety (4:1 rule/3 point contact rule) with only an A-frame ladder and the "Pivot" tool. I was taught how to caulk, scrape, and that was it. Almost a month later was I told the other employees received "mandatory" instructional training at Madison (this is Southern Wisconsin branch) Sherwin-Williams and learned additional ladder safety, etc (Lead safety, prep, and so forth)--I was never informed. So, I went online and watched videos to learn how to carry an extension ladder.
About 2-3 weeks after I started, I signed a form that stated I was up-to-date on safety regulations and given my "Certification" card. This is so if an OSHA safety inspector shows up on a job site, we can show we've been through the training. They almost back you in a corner with the way they rush students through the process of learning. I needed a job because I was getting married, so I felt I had no other option, which I really didn't. If you have another job lined up, take that instead.
I've noticed that the intern tends to scam the homeowners by telling them we can have a job done in, say, 2-3 days, prep and all, when common sense says the job should take way longer--I believe preparation is key, and if the prep work is shotty, the paint job will be decrepit. Overall, at each job, we're told to "Work harder" to "beat budget." Basically, we're paid 8 dollars an hour (base pay); if we "beat budget" and get the job done in 2 days, opposed to the budgeted 3, we earn more. However, if the job takes longer, we actually are paid 7.25. My check stubs are goofy and confusing to understand. When I've called the corporate office, nobody ever answers.
Mondays are considered "Mandatory Marketing days," and each worker must go door-to-door and market the company. This is how we get jobs later in the summer. A lead earns the worker 20 dollars in-hand cash. If the lead turns into a project, the worker gets a percentage of the cut (this is the big bucks). Of course, this is hard as ***, and I've earned 20 bucks once. By the way, the 2-3 hours you walk around neighborhoods are not paid. You get paid by the lead.
The crews are two workers a house, which often times isn't enough help to get a job done in the budgeted time. I'm a hard/careful worker who takes pride in the finished product, and I've walked away from every site ashamed and embarrassed with the end product--I thought painting was a "skilled trade". My co-worker doesn't agree, considering I've had to re-scrape sections he's worked on because the pealing paint is, well, still there. Granted, he understands my frustration, as he'll say, "This is B-S. I wish we had more time to do this." He's right, but to fall into the spell of speeding the job up to make budget isn't worth the 8 dollars or pat on the back. It's worth 10. So, I take my time. Unfortunately, as I've said, my checks are significantly smaller than they should be. I'll add that I've spent 30 dollars of my own money to buy my own brushes because one guy I worked with would mash the brushes against the surface and leave paint in the bristles. Yes, this is who paints your house!
I have yet to learn how to use the spray gun, and I'm not sure I want to. It's sloppy, and I've found it's used to "hurry" the job up. I'm positive my co-painter uses it improperly, as paint will drip from the surface it's on too thick.
The intern, my manger, spends his time going to get more paint because there is never enough on site. There is only one of everything on site; there are times I don't do anything because the 24' extension ladder is used (and the other ladders aren't tall enough. I hold the ladder, but other work can and should be getting done at the time, right?). Sometimes we skimp on safety measures and fail to meet OSHA standards. We had a house with lead paint, and we didn't have ventilation masks (just the paper ones). We had those funny suits, but no gloves or shoe covers for them. During that same project, we were rained out for a couple hours, and we weren't paid for them. (speaking of prep work, the power washing is terrible or skipped, so time must be taken to do that rather than get to work--the intern is supposed to do the power washing, we just show up and prep/paint...can't paint with dirt and cobwebs on a house! Time lost on the budget.)
As you can tell, I'm not happy with this job. I don't recommend you fall into the scam. If you're looking for a paint job, I'll do it for you, but I understand if you don't even trust me from what I've told you about this company. Go with the pros or someone who will take the time to make your house or trim, or deck look nice.
Review about: College Works Painting Painting.
Reason of review: Bad quality.
Monetary Loss: $100.