An overwhelming mob of customers at a newly reopened ice cream parlour led to the business immediately shutting down again and a teenage staffer quitting after she was subjected to an “unyielding verbal assault” from impatient patrons, the owner said.
“In 19 years of operation this is the lowest feeling I have ever felt,” Mark Lawrence, owner of the Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, posted on Facebook Friday night.
The family-run business in the town of Mashpee had announced it would reopen for Mother’s Day weekend and that its coronavirus-related social distancing guidelines that would require customers to place their orders at least an hour in advance.
Unfortunately, many people were not pleased with this request.
Customers turned on a 17-year-old employee, who had worked at the store for the past three years while saving for college, when she became overwhelmed with orders, Lawrence said.
“She was met with an unyielding verbal assault with some of the most vulgar and disgusting words hurled at her, these shouldn’t be heard in a men’s locker room, never mind directed to a teenager!” Lawrence wrote on a GoFundMe page set up for her.
“In spite of this, she continued to work until the last ice cream was served and then turned in her apron,” he added. “Asked why she didn’t tell me sooner of this behaviour, she simply said she didn’t want to disappoint me or our loyal fans.”
Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour announced Friday that it would close to the general public in the wake of what happened. It began serving to a smaller clientele the following day.
“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,” Lawrence told Boston station WFXT.
Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
The GoFundMe page set up for the unidentified employee’s college savings account had raised more than $10,000 by Monday afternoon.