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What is your Job/Profession?
Topic Rating: +8 (8 votes) 
January 10, 2011
6:46 pm
Tiffany Hahn
San Diego, CA
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As modified individuals, finding places to work is always a challenge. I am a licensed Private Investigator in the state of California – self employed. I'm good at what I do because I don't look like the typical investigator. Recently, work has been slow, so I was going to pick up some part time work somewhere – but where?

 

I'm interested in knowing where members work, how you're treated with your modifications, whether or not you're expected to hide the modifications, and if you're happy doing what you're doing.

Tiffany M. Hahn ☆ CoBM Minister
IAM: TMHahnBodyMod.orgFacebookTwitter
January 11, 2011
9:40 am
modernprim1980
Ayden , NC
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I use to work in the Glass industry. For about 8 yrs. I have been tattooed and peiriced the whole time and was exspected to hide my mods. So for awhile I complied . Until 4 mths ago when we (my wife and I) found a way to work for ourselves. We work from home . Again at the time of employment I was always looked at funny by customers . Asked ?s like how long were you in jail , or do you worship satan? I live in the south so if you know anything about it here , they are very very christian . Which is fine but not to that degree. Since I never intended on hideing who I was but out of ness. to survive monatarely I did. The day I quit working I was asked by an old lady whos custom shower I designed and was installing, when did you give up on haveing a respectful life, and being someone in society ? NO BS this was the final straw. I walked out in the middle of the install took my shirt off in her front yard and said. STAIR UPON ME THE FREAK OF NATURE THE NOBODY …… KISS MY ASS ! This made a scene in the eyes of the ppl next door and all around . I was pleased with my actions and felt no remorse. I went to the office told the ppl i worked for what i had done and told them to F off. and left. I never looked back and vowed to never hide myself again.

ModernPrimitive
January 12, 2011
9:45 am
eca
Minneapolis, MN
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Most people would consider me unemployed… I lost my last "real" job in January of last year.  I have been seeking employment since, though in the process have discovered what I truly want to do professionally, and that is to perform and entertain.

All my life, I have had the goal of making at least one person smile each day. Between performing and being myself, I've managed to make that goal a reality (every day) for the last 4 months :D.  Am I making good money? No. Am I happy? Yes.

With all that said, I am in a really interesting position as far as mods are concerned as I can simply not take jobs that would require I hide them if I choose. This is something I'm still not entirely sure of though… On one hand, I can hide my mods when performing (or when requested) and keep my potential audience larger, or I can leave the mods, and in doing so force myself into a more specific market.

Would hiding my mods for each performance affect me negatively? I don't know yet… Would not hiding my mods at all affect my life negatively? Living in the midwest, it is quite possible.

January 13, 2011
10:06 pm
The Pagan Buddhist
Highland, IL
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Ok well right now I quilify as unemployed.  However I hold several certifacations in many fields in which I have managed to work with little to no resistence to my mods.  My primary profession was that of hairstylist.  In that field you are expected to live on the edge of fashion and style.  I had no resistence from clients while working but employers where never fully understanding.  Many however never refused to hire me or punished me for it till my recent job lose. (Long story but after 2 years fired for nose ring, currently fighting discrimination).

 

I also run my own side business as an officiant doing the odd to bizzar weddings.  I do everything from you requesting a strange location to a fully decked out costumed vampire wedding.  The kind of weddings I like to and tend to perform have no issues with my apperence as they tend to resemble me as well.

 

Since I am out of work currently I am going back to school to get a degree in multimedia web design to start my own business to work from home.  I have found if I am confident, upright, and honest when interviewed that many emplowers have hired me without a second thought to the mods.  The most common thing I have been asked is to change the industrial hoops in my ears to plugs while at work which I have no issues with.

Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery, Today is a gift that is why its the present Master Oogway, Kungfu Panda
Blog – One Year One Day Blog – The Pagan Buddhist
January 13, 2011
10:53 pm
My Little Moloch
New England
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I woiuldn't call myself "unemployed" at present, but in actuality I'm disabled, recieving assistance, doing divination by appointment (I do housecalls!) and working on a novel that I hope will someday either be read by someone other than myself or result in some kind of paycheck, but ideally I'm hoping for both.

However, my ideal future is quite different.  In my ideal future, I'll be tattooing people in a ritual setting, and completely off government subsidy.  I personally believe my ideal future is attainable – I'll keep you posted (a.k.a. they'll hear me squealing for joy the next county over when I finally make it happen).

January 14, 2011
2:49 am
Richard Ivey
Raleigh, NC
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January 13, 2011
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I currently work as a body mod technician (I don't consider piercing, scarification, or other procedures to be an "art" as it relies on knowledge and precision) in an APP shop.  As the most heavily modified employee (face tattoos and 2.5" lobes), I get quite a bit of stares, questions, and even some light teasing from my coworkers.  Our shop, as one of the best establishments in the area, gets quite an influx of people who are new to our community, or just visiting, as some would say.  The majority of my piercing clients are 16-20 year old females, and they are intimidated to talk to a 6'4" 300 lb guy about wanting to be pierced.  I overcome it by being kind, polite, and genuine, and providing the best service possible in terms of technique and materials.

 

I occasionally work security at a small, nasty, hole in the wall music venue that is quite well known in the hardcore and alternative music scene.  Being so heavily modified there is a bonus as it seems to earn me a degree of respect from the people who surround me.  The owner of the venue occasionally goads me about things he hears from customers (i.e. "I wouldn't mess with that guy"), but he's happy that I'm there.  My calm demeanor generally overrides my "tough bouncer" assumed persona and most of the time, I'm able to reason with people and get things done.  Sometimes we're breaking up fights in mosh pits, sometimes we're calming tour managers down, and sometimes we're babysitting.  I enjoy the constant need to adapt and think on my feet.  The extra money doesn't hurt and sometimes I'm able to see groups I enjoy or discover new music from up and coming artists.  It's refreshing.

 

In the past, I co-owned and operated a small business dealing in domestic debris removal.  My face wasn't tattooed at the time but I did still have my scalp tattooed and my arms and hands, as well as my stretched lobes.  I worked for myself so obviously my boss was the worst jerk ever!!  My business partner was a long time friend who is not modified in the least.  By my own suggestion, he dealt more with the public and was the "face" of the business, but I ended up doing just as much interaction with the public.  Again, I was always kind and polite to people, and it got me far in professional relationships and our clients were always happy with me.  I did have a few interesting encounters where clients didn't know I ran the business and assumed I was just an employee, and spoke down to me.  It was always from very affluent people who seem to have a very low opinion of blue collar workers in general, regardless of their opinion.  I did have a bank freeze my account once when I deposited 20+ thousand dollars in cash, and they contacted the police because they assumed the money had come from something illegal.  Of course, it hadn't, and the bank fired the employee who had made the call and tried to keep my business but I took it elsewhere.  I think that was the most discriminatory thing I ever dealt with, and I'm still quite astounded to this day that not one person stopped to think, "This gentleman has a successful business"- they just saw tattoos and piercings and assumed I was up to something.  I sold my share of the business to my business partner after a couple of years of running the business because working 70-80 hours a week really took a toll on my mental and physical health and it effected my relationship with my now fiance in quite a negative way.

 

I've held a few other jobs as well, while I was apprenticing to pierce and later getting my business off the ground, but never had any problems with my modifications and my employers.

January 14, 2011
3:38 am
TaylorDashae
Hammond, LA
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January 14, 2011
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Sadly, I am currently unemployed. I did have an apprenticeship, but that proved to be too much to handle while trying to go to college. It is extremely hard to find a job if you are heavily pierced. I feel like the only chance I will get is bar-tending or something of the like.

January 17, 2011
10:59 am
Mel Bell
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Im currently a Firefighter/EMT……at first I believed that I could hide my modifications as long as none of my patients or other hospital personnel could see them….but i eventually had to take them out because they caused safety hazards to me when I entered a working fire….since my metal or acrylic would either get too hot or start to melt…..i now only have gauges which I kept moderately small and only put wood or stone in them…but i feel like I love my job too much to let my modifications put me at risk to either lose my job or get injured…..

January 17, 2011
11:18 am
easlade
Tawas City, MI
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January 13, 2011
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Currently unemployed as I make the transition from Northern Michigan to Seattle. In the past the only place that was accepting of my modifications were bars and some restaurants, depending on the dress code. I also taught figure skating for about eight years, though.

Since social acceptance is largely in part to the region in which you live I'm excited to be out in Seattle exploring other opportunities.

January 17, 2011
11:22 am
bettyrage
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January 10, 2011
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Currently I work for a major cell phone company in sales. I work face to face with the public in a very well-off area where tattoos and piercings are looked down upon. Having modifications means that you're trash or spent some time in prison to the people in this area so I've had to overcome a lot. The company makes me cover my tattoos with long sleeves which isn't really a big deal. I want to get a hand tattoo and it has been approved by my legal department for me to do so as long as I wear gloves to cover it, but working with money and small cell phone components, it just wouldn't be practical. I was hired on with my monroe, so I don't have to remove it (despite the feelings of an assistant manager who teases and says that my religion is equivalent to drawing on myself with markers…) I also have slightly stretched earlobes (10g on bottom, 4g on top) and I haven't had any problems with that, but my hair covers them most of the time.

 

When I'm at work, I only talk about tattoos and modifications to my customers who also have those modifications. It's rare that I roll up my sleeves to show off some fresh ink, but I have some repeat customers who know about my sleeves and ask to see anything I've had done recently. These customers also come in and show off their work to me, which is really cool. It's not rare to see someone come into the store and take off their shirt to show me their back piece or chest piece that they just had finished. My managers might not like it, but if my customers are happy, they don't really say much about it. To every other customer I deal with, it's basically a secret that I have these mods. I treat everyone with respect, take care of their problems and get great customer feedback surveys because of it.

 

My coworkers seem to like my mods and respect my decision to get them with the exception of my assistant manager. When he works, I can't even take my sweater off while I'm in the back room on a lunch break without him complaining about seeing my ink. Sad thing is that he has tats too. I think he's more upset that I've chosen the CoBM as my religion than the tats themselves. He teases me about it and emails me bible verses all the time. I totally respect his choice in religions, but I wish he would do the same. Some people will just never understand.

January 17, 2011
11:32 am
xrayspex
Emmaus, Pennsylvania
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I am currently passing my 3/4 mark of my tattoo apprenticeship, and starting into my piercing apprenticeship, while also working full time at Wal-Mart on third shift. Now, yes, I know Wal-Mart has a bad rep regarding limiting its visible expression on it's workers, but I work as an Asset Protection Associate. I control shrink, and catch shop-lifters. It's not my first choice in the job market, but it became available to me while I carried out my apprenticeships. Wal-Marts rules regarding appearance don't exactly comply to me, except that I don't wear any offensive material and that I be presentable while in court, which is part of the job. In a way, the modifications work to my benefit in the aspect that no one really expects the guy with all the piercings and tattoos to work for them, so no one suspects me of watching them, while they steal. Which is something I'm not really happy about, but it works for the time being.

As far as my previous jobs are concerned, I worked as an industrial insulator, which involved me going around to different chemical, pharmaceutical and industrial complexes and insulating high temp, low temp and high pressure pipe lines; although my boss was so keen on the idea of my looks, he only asked that I remove them when in confined spaces or in a food processing plant, as required by law in Pennsylvania. I was happy to oblige, for my own safety reasons. Prior to that was concrete, a small outfit doing basements, retaining walls, sidewalks, etc. No one cared there. As long as I did my job like everyone else, everyone was content.

I don't believe that the acceptance is where it should be in this day and age, but just in the past two decades we've taken great strides to a more positive outlook. It takes time. As of right now, I know +3 people with a great number of visible modifications working as an accountant, a roofer, and as a Human Resources representative for a large printing company. Right now, you just have to look in the right places.

January 17, 2011
7:13 pm
Summer
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call center.

January 18, 2011
11:00 am
fire933
arizona
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I work with devolopmentally disabled adults, they really dont care, as long and there is nothing for someone to grab on to i have my fair share of tattooes and plenty of peircings, moving back to tx soon hoping i can find a job as cool as this one is as far and the modifications go… the guys i work with ask about all my new ones and actually keep track of them kinda cool they take interest in them

January 22, 2011
4:42 am
TNTD2011
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I am currently back in school full time for my second career.   I am working towards my masters degree for nurse practitioner – specifically certified nurse midwife.  I have a very large back piece, two nostril piercings, my lobes are pierced all the way up and this includes a 6 loop spiral in each ear.  I also have a rook in each ear, and gauged conches.  Most of my modifications are easy to conceal should I need to.  I am also mom to Terrin who is 8, and Taytum who is 5.

January 25, 2011
1:52 pm
Rachel
Tel Aviv
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I am a student in university right now, but I am planning on a conservative type job, so I am careful to keep my mods "coverable".  I hate the fact there is so much discrimination against modified people…. *sigh*

There is something sexy about metal and skin.
February 1, 2011
2:44 pm
Lauren M.
Vero Beach, Florida
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I work as a legal secretary/assistant in a very small law firm in Florida. When I first began working here, I was asked to cover the only tattoo I had (a nautical star behind my ear), which was easy enough since I just kept my hair down. Over the past 2 years, I have gotten a few more tattoos and my boss has become pretty accustomed to them. I actually asked for permission to get one of them, since it was possible that it would show depending on the clothing I wore. That is when my boss informed me that it's not him who cares what I look like, it's our clients and potential clients. I now have tattoos that I allow to be seen because, since we're such a small firm, we don't get many new clients and the ones we have already know what I look like, they know who I am, and they accept that I may be different from them but I will still do my job to the best of my ability. Some of them even ask to see anything new I've gotten! It's gotten to the point where I was allowed to add electric blue streaks to my hair, then I dyed it black and pink/red, then fully pink, and now blonde with an electric blue and purple fringe. Nobody here seems to mind. I get compliments from my bosses wife as well as people who work at/customers of the bank downstairs from our office.

 

Florida is called "Heaven's waiting room" for a reason. It's mostly the rich, super religious, and elderly where I live, so I'm pretty discriminated against when it comes to them. I have words across my chest (usually my only visible tattoo) along with my funky hair, so I generally get death glares when I'm in public around those types of people. However, I have yet to have much of a problem with anybody else here or in the counties surrounding us. The middle aged and the young don't seem to mind too much, so I'm hoping that I will still be able to find jobs that will accept me until I can launch myself into a career.

February 3, 2011
3:54 pm
Katherine J
Independence KS
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I'm currently unemployed and have been for some time. I've previously worked jobs at places like grocery stores, once at a daycare, and fast food.

I was in the navy for roughly a year and a half before being deemed unfit to complete duty. I'm diagnosed with schizophrenia.

I've recently tried working again though, and find it hard to get hired with the large tree tattoo on the front of my neck.

What I would like to do though is maybe get back into school and learn how to make pastries so I can open up a tea shop, because if I'm my own boss it's not likely that I'll be fired.

Let it never be said that my soul is dead, for what my flesh bears shows that it's there
March 20, 2011
4:18 am
Oakbear
UK
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I think i posted this before on Tribe, but hey…

 

I'm a Mental Health Nurse working in a high security hospital.

I'm pretty visibly modded (2" lobes, chin tattoo, hand tattoos, various facial piercings, near coverage on both forearms). It has taken a large amount of time and effort to get myself accepted, however i'm lucky to work in a profession which is pretty open minded, and has a public commitment to equality and diversity. It's also known that my mods have a religious/spiritual component for me, which seems to help, or at least makes it difficult for people to challenge me!

I do feel that being good at my job has helped a lot, and i'm sure if i had applied for my first job in this field i may have been less successful!

In this respect i feel i have earned my mods, and hopefully the respect of my colleagues and other professionals with which i work.

As a visibly modded person i feel a certain responsibility to challenge preconceptions of others, and in some respects act as an exemplar of our community.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 26, 2011
1:13 am
London Hernandez
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I have worked in construction for many years. About ten years, to be exact. I am very

proud of my mods, and have never hid them from anyone.I have been piercing for

about three years off and on. I am now working full time as a piercer.AND I LOVE MY            JOB!!!!     I can do anything i want as far as mods go. (I am happy

I made the transition)I get to

spend time with my family.I get to take my son to school and play with my little girl's I

feel we all have a better bond now .Laugh

March 27, 2011
10:57 am
JC Alvarez
Orlando, FL
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March 3, 2011
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I'm a Student at the moment, going into grad school in the upcoming semester. I am in the Psychology field with a focus in Marriage/Couples and Sexual therapy and Deaf therapy.

As for job(s) I'm an intern at a marriage clinic, though I have to take out my piercings that are visible because of the clients.  Otherwise I am working a secutiry job, which varies depending on the client. I've done everything from mall security to bouncer to body guard (the security company I work for has broad clientel). Mostly I get the odder jobs because my boss considers my mods to be intimidating and encourages I have as many visible in as I can. I don't mind though because I get the higher paying gigs as a result.

I am actually looking to get an apprenticeship for piercing, so if anyone has suggestiong of how to get into the field I'd love to know. I know that I need to take a course on BBP and CPR/First Aid. I'm planning on doing that in the summer as well as reading a book called "The Piercing Bible"

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