Reopened Massachusetts ice cream shop closes again after being mobbed by angry customers. As the world is re-opening slowly, we must all be prepared for long lines and wait times. Patience is a must. Being angry and disrespectful does not help anything. Long wait times is the new normal. Be prepared, pre-order or call an hour in advance to avoid longer waits.
A Massachusetts ice cream shop temporarily closed and one of its employees quit after the owner says his staff faced an onslaught of harassment when reopening for the first time over the weekend after being shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Cape Cod’s Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee has stayed closed amid coronavirus despite being able to operate under guidelines for social distancing at restaurants.
Owner Mark Lawrence told Boston 25 News he wanted to wait until opening would be safe, and he chose the Friday before Mother’s Day to welcome customers back.
The TV station reported that Lawrence had asked customers to place orders an hour before pick up, but on the first day back, his limited staff faced harsh comments and vulgarity from angry customers who demanded ice cream.
“One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift, she stuck it through her shift,” Lawrence told Boston 25 News. “But the words she was called and the language, you wouldn’t even say in a men’s locker room. And to say it to a 17-year-old kid, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
Lawrence’s ice cream shop has been open for almost two decades and he said “word spread like wildfire” that it was open Friday, causing the influx of customers.
He told the Boston Globe that within two and a half hours of opening, “it was just insane” as customers filled his parking lot and soon began to hurl insults at his staff.
“The wheels were slowly falling off the bus,” he told the newspaper.
Lawrence told the Globe he brought back his best employees, all in their late teens or early 20s, but was working with half of the regular number of ice cream scoopers, as he needed the other half to run orders to cars and one person to handle incoming orders.
The ice cream shop owner recounted the scene of chaos as more and more customers poured in and demanded ice cream. One customer, he said, got out of her car to yell at him, he told the Globe.
“Hold on, hold on: It’s ice cream,” he told the newspaper. “Ma’am, you do not have to be here; I don’t have to be here; these kids don’t have to be here.”
After the hectic day, Lawrence said one of his workers, “one of the most hardworking, kindhearted,” quit due to the harassment she faced.
“People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes. They have no clue how to respect other human beings,”.
The shop didn’t take new orders Saturday. Lawrence told the TV station he spent the day fulfilling orders they missed Friday.
“My thought is that we shall simply not open to the general public until something resembling normal returns. In 19 years of operation this is the lowest feeling I have ever felt,” he wrote on Facebook.
But on Sunday, after receiving an influx of support from his community and messages online, Lawrence decided to reopen again.
“Today was a vastly improved operation. People placed their orders an hour or more (some, a day before) prior to their pick up time. They followed the rules and it worked,” he wrote on Facebook.
As for the employee who quit, Lawrence started a GoFundMe for her college fund as he said she was working to save up for school.
Lawrence told Boston 25 News he hopes moving forward customers will be nicer and respect his staff as they figure out how to operate under the new circumstances.