Employee quit ice cream store after customers ignored social distancing

The owner said, “People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes"

1y ago

An ice-cream store was forced to close just a day after it reopened because customers were not following social distancing rules. According to the store’s owner, customers treated team members so badly that one worker quit after her shift.

Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee, Massachusetts reopened last Friday. In order to keep customers safe, the store required orders to be placed at least an hour in advance.

Owner Mark Lawrence told Boston 25 News that customers didn’t pay attention to the new protocol. He said, "Now I open the doors to a whole new world, with gloves and masks, and we're running around like chickens, but people are like, 'Where's my ice cream?' I'm not a trauma center; it's ice cream!"

Lawrence said one of his best workers quit at the end of the chaotic shift. "She stuck it through her shift. 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."

He added, “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.”

After the reopening day, Lawrence posted on Facebook: “As I turn the key in the lock tonight. 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, I will read all the posts and reply to them, but I lived it and can only imagine what awaits. We were overwhelmed, plain and simply. Regardless of peoples frustrations to take it out on a teenage girl is simply WRONG - it cost one of my best employees due to the rudeness directed at her tonight. So wrong in so many ways to treat a teenager with such disrespect no matter the circumstances.”

The post was shared widely and received a lot of support. The store was able to reopen the following day.

In a Facebook update at the end of the weekend, Lawrence posted: "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. There were minimal people just pulling up and expecting to be served immediately, they chose to place an order and return or sit and wait."

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Comments (2)

  • That's a horrible story. But one I've seen many times. Even before this pandemic, I didn't enjoy going out most of the time just because of people like that. I've worked restaurants and retail and the way people act in those settings is often shocking and embarrassing. I feel for anyone needing to work with the public during and after this pandemic. People seem to have lost all respect for anyone outside of themselves.

      1 year ago
  • Customer service jobs are the most awful. I'm so sorry that girl experienced that. I once was a restaurant hostess and lasted 3 weeks because people are wacky. But the manager was also a psycho who screamed at everyone including me for no reason. I came home crying every day and finally quit. I can't even fathom how worse people are now that tensions are so high.

      1 year ago