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Check back often to see when your story is posted and to see stories from fellow workers.

“It is about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.”


“I like challenging work, so I can do better and better.”

When James turned 18, getting tattoos became a passion “because I love art so much, so my goal was to be 100% tattooed.” His whole body, face, and scalp were covered in colorful tattoos by the time he was 25, when he got one that reads, “I’m on my level. Because it symbolized that I finished my goal.” James’ love for tattooing extends to his work as a body piercer: “I have always loved body piercing. I started in middle school, self-taught on my friends. They all kept coming back for more, so I decided this is one of the things I love to do.”

When he’s not pursuing his art, James works as an electrical contractor in a business he co-owns with his father, with whom he began apprenticing at 15 years old. Being an electrician is full of physical and mental pressure. Apart from keeping up with rigorous codes that change yearly, “we have to work in the heat, a lot of stress…the possibility of getting shocked or killed. This is a very dangerous job.” Perfectionism is an asset in this business, and James learned an acute attention to detail from his father: “My father is very professional. Every little thing has to be perfect, and I am the same way.”

Between both jobs as an electrician and a piercing artist, James works more than 50 hours a week, 7 days a week, but working in both industries provides James “a feeling of success. At the end of the day I am tired but feel good that I fixed something and helped someone out. Or, in the case of my body piercing, someone went home smiling and happy and feeling good about their body.”