This really happened.
I was shopping for a winter jacket at a local store which shall be nameless (because this could have happened anywhere in Humboldt) . I found one that looked right but it had a fur collar- not exactly my style, plus I figured it was fake anyway. I flagged down a salesclerk and asked if it was real. She went to consult someone and came back saying, “Yes, it’s real. It’s fox.”
FOX! I couldn’t believe it. “Isn’t that an endangered species?” I asked. I don’t know whether they’re endangered or not. My neighbor says there are foxes in our ‘hood in Cutten but I never see them.
“No, it’s really fox”, the clerk said. “It’s right here on the tag. See?”
I looked at the tag. It said “FAUX”, not “fox’. I explained the difference. She was sort of interested.
That incident made me wonder what local employers are doing for customer service training now that the Eureka Adult School is no more. Years ago, the Chamber sponsored training for retail employees. The legend is that their training got its start when the waitstaff at the old Seafood Grotto were heard telling visitors who asked what there was to do in Eureka, “Nothing”. The Chamber is under financial duress at present and I would’t expect any expensive initiatives from them for awhile.
Retail is critically important in this County; it provides thousands of jobs, not all of which are minimum wage jobs. It provides training; most people’s first jobs were in retail. Retail trains people to communicate, problem solve, handle cash and a dozen other skills.
Including, maybe, the ability to distinguish “faux’ from “fox.” The fake fox fur turned out to be detachable. I’m trying to decide if I should give it to the dogs to play with or if that would encourage aggression toward small critters. I guess I’ve already done irreparable harm with all the “squeaky” toys I’ve given them. The faux mice and faux birdies have taken their toll.