In late 2007 I sent off for a test from the art instruction schools. I got the art test in the mail, I did it and then I sent it back. Months pass and I don't hear anything from them. So in Spring 2008 I send them an email and ask them what's up.
The next day I get a phone call, this rep calls from their MN location and says there is an interviewer in my area. I live in Arizona and he said that the rep was in my area and if I wanted to meet with the Art Instructions School's rep. I thought, hey that's kind cool that a rep was in the state. I thought it was kind of ironic too.
So I decided to meet the representative at Starbucks. The rep was okay at first. He explained the program, I already knew how it worked because I visited their website. He was decent until he got down to the enrollment part of the program.
I had to fill out a basic form, like the one you fill out at any college, the problem was that the rep got very bossy and made me sign things under pressure. One of the things on the form was this
request for a photograph of their students.
My personal view is that a photograph from students should be a request and not a demand, but the rep told me to sign it. He said that I had to. I did not want a picture to be taken because personally I hate photographs and I take them very personally.
I like to have my hair done in the right way, with good make up and nice clothes. I wasn't prepared to take a photo that day, he even carries a camera with him to take pics and he was ready to snap a photo of me until I stopped him.
I told him this and he said to send a photograph later on, but he was very pushy about it. He was all "you're going to send one right?" I could not believe how pushy he was about it. So stupidly and I admit that this is my own fault, I signed everything.
Then when it came to the payment, I did not know that he would request a payment at the meeting. The rep on the phone did not tell me about this. I just thought that it would be a meeting about the school, what they did, and that would be that, and then it would be my choice to think things over if I wanted to sign up and I would make a payment later.
So he asked how I could pay and I was quiet about that because I was just not prepared. So he said that he could follow me home while I got money to pay for the school expenses. This is a guy that I never met at all, he was in his 40s, I'm a short female and he was physically stronger than me, and this is the 21st century. You don't just bring anyone home, I don't care if its another woman.
People get killed and all sorts of things happen to you when you are a woman. I'm not paranoid but I am very careful. So he said he would just follow me home and stay in his car while I got a form of payment. I really freaked out because it doesn't matter if someone stays in their car, once someone knows where you live then its over.
I don't know this guy. I had never met him before and he wanted to follow me home. I told him no and explained why, he got a strange look on his face and finally stopped pressuring me about following me home. He thought I was weird just because I didn't want him to follow me? Excuse me, but that's what any person with common sense does in today's modern world.
Anyway I signed the rest of the papers under duress but afterwards I just felt sick. When I came home, I sent off another email to the Art Instruction Schools and complained about the rep. He gave me his business card so I told them who I had dealt with, so finally they refunded my money and cancelled everything.
I realized that I was wrong to sign under duress and I won't do it ever again but he was wrong for pressuring me so much. I definitely learned from this lesson and I was thankful to have my refund but I swear the way they pressure people to enter their art program is disgusting. its almost the pressure you get when you join a gym. Even a photograph from their students is a demand and not a request.
Also the program is a little over $3,000. That's so expensive, at a community college a semester of a 3-credit drawing class would only cost you $300. So they lie when they tell you its cheap. Its not cheap. I believe this school accepts everyone and the "test" they give is just to see who is willing to make themselves a sucker. I almost did. NEVER AGAIN.