By Rachel Tennenbaum

In this Q&A we will explore an avenue not often taken in the world of news: getting cozy with the public. Once a week CHP will sit down with a member of the Santa Cruz community and ask them questions ranging from the amusing to the intimate. Because he’s not just the cable guy he’s got a whole package of thoughts whirling around in his head, and we’d like to know what’s going on.

This week we met Jared Castello, a cashier at Safeway who was finishing-up his lunch hour when we caught up with him.

What’s your birthday?

January 30, 1979.

What’s your favorite day of the week?

Wednesday. It’s sort of like my Friday in the middle of the week.

What’s your favorite color?

Green. Any shade of green, there isn’t a shade I don’t like.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

Probably a squirrel. I just like squirrels—I think they’re cute, except for the whole rabies thing.

What’s your favorite food?

Italian as a type. Subcategory—fettuccini alfredo.

Do you get a lot of free food working at Safeway?

Not really. You get a discount on the Safeway brand stuff.

Do you like the Safeway chicken?

Yea, I usually have it for lunch because nothing else is open.

What’s the best part of your job?

It’s nice to help people in here. There are just some people who are really appreciative, gracious.

Do you think that world peace is possible?

Not really. I think that to some extent there will always be petty squabbling that will escalate into something worse.

Any siblings?

Two brothers, one older, one younger.

Do you keep in-touch with them?

The older one lives next door to me.

When do you feel your best?

I’m normally feeling my best when I’m doing something that challenges me.

Any truths about life that you hold close to your heart?

I’m pretty much into the “give smiles to random people.” And most of the time they’ll smile back; you could make someone’s day by smiling to a stranger.

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

I think Japan. I haven’t traveled too much outside of the country. [It’s] just one of the places I’d like to go.

How long have you worked at Safeway?

One year.

Reader, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any suggestions for possible interviews or interesting questions, please send an email from