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Massachusetts Ice-Cream Shop Re-Closes after Patrons Berate Staff over Crowd

‘People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes…’

Massachusetts Ice Cream Shop Forced to Close After Reopening and Experiencing 'Verbal Assault' From Customers
Mark Lawrence / IMAGE: Mass Live via YouTube

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A Massachusetts ice-cream parlor was forced to close its doors just one day after it had reopened because angry patrons reportedly complained it was too busy.

Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour, in Mashpee, reopened last week in order to serve pickup-only orders.

The store’s owners, Mark Lawrence, warned customers ahead of time that they’d need to call ahead to place their orders because the store would be limiting the number of people inside the building. But many customers ignored his directive entirely, he said.

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Eventually, a crowd began to form, Lawrence said, and the customers began taking out their frustration on his employees.

Some of the customers complained that the parlor was too crowded, Lawrence explained, but instead of leaving or waiting patiently outside, they “verbally assaulted” his staff.

“One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift,” he told WFXT-TV. “[T]he 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 said the frustrations coronavirus pandemic—and the resulting economic toll from restrictive stay-at-home orders—seemed to have brought out the worst in many.

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“People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes,” he added. “They have no clue how to respect other human beings.”

So Lawrence decided to close the parlor until he can implement his new business rules, which will require customers to place orders at least one hour in advance, according to Fox News.

Lawrence also started a GoFundMe for the 17-year-old employee who had been berated, in the hopes of helping her save up for college.

She was “planning to work as much as possible to save money for college” before she quit, the GoFundMe fundraiser states. As of Tuesday morning, the fundraiser had accumulated more than $30,000.

Reopening won’t be easy, and it’s likely that many other businesses will experience similar frustrations, Lawrence said.

“The underlying message here that gets lost is: How will other businesses reopen? There is no road map to follow,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

“Years of being in business, no one has ever had to go through anything like this,” he continued. “It’s like receiving a box from IKEA with a bunch of ‘stuff’ with no instructions and making something. What works for one business well might be a complete failure at another. Each business is unique in its own way.”

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