John Tang


Posted in Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on May 14, 2010

Raley’s Chad

Chad, his name tag read after James asked about his day. What ensued as well was a conversation, a life he worked towards as a medical transcriptionist. Chad was a paunchy fellow, had rolls of chins that was slightly shaded, and around the eyes were black rings, scaled from the cracks in the eyelids and cheeks. But his attitude in slicing sandwiches did not vex him: “My week has been good. Next week is finals, then I graduate the next semester.” He attended Western college, a vocational school, for medical transcriptionist. He was excited for the money, saying the market was “wide these days.” James knew the market for medical transcriptions, as he currently was employed at an optometry office, and he warned simply called it “busy work” when the office was slow. What Chad was more interested in was coding—creating bill codes for insurance companies—saying that paid thirty-five dollars an hour!

He made a Sierra’s Peak, a Cibatta sandwich with a stratosphere of flavor, yet by the size you would believe the there was none:  Thick slices roasted ham and turkey, lettuce, tomato, rings of sweet onions, mayo, and a spread honey mustard. He opened an entire pack of ham for the sandwich, and James thought only half was enough for seven dollars. His white apron was stained in brown colors, perhaps from the ribs, as James matched it with the ribs in the steel bowl. After wrapping the sandwich in paper, he removed both gloves, weighed the sandwich and taped the lip, saying: “Only a few more months.” He passed the sandwich over the counter, “This is yours. You have a good day, now, sir.”


Old Cowboy Outside of Starbucks on N. Texas St.

“Decided to come back in,” the old man said with a southern accent, holding the door for a young man in a black hoodie and sharp sunglasses. Dressed In cowboy ensemble—leather vest, striped short sleeve shirt, and a wicker gallon hat—he greeted everyone entering the coffee shop.



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