Customers in Massachusetts screamed for their ice cream and it ended up with one worker quitting on the spot.
The line at the Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour on Cape Cod grew so long that sugar rush turned into sugar rage as people were forced to wait for more than an hour for their cones last weekend.
One 17-year-old girl who had worked at the venue for a number of years became so overwhelmed by the anger of patrons directed towards her, that she decided that she couldn’t take it any longer and handed in her notice after completing her shift on Friday.
Mark Lawrence, 61, decided to open up his Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee, Massachusetts on Friday to give people sweet treats
As word spread, within a couple of hours staff were quickly overwhelmed
Lawrence pleaded online for people to stop calling and unplugged the phone
‘An employee of my small hometown ice cream shop, Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour, quit on the first day of reopening after being verbally harassed by frustrated guests,’ owner Mark Lawrence, 61, wrote on a GoFundMe page her set up for the girl.
‘She is a 17-year-old young lady who has worked for me for the past three years and has always been one of the most hardworking, kindhearted employees and a favorite of many of our regulars. This young lady was planning to work as much as possible to save money for college in the fall.’
‘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.
‘In spite of this, she continued to work until the last ice cream was served and then turned in her apron. Asked why she didn’t tell me sooner of this behavior, she simply said she didn’t want to disappoint me or our loyal fans.’
Customers then became abusive towards staff swearing and screaming with some even heading to the takeout window to hurl abuse face-to-face
After one worker of three years quit after her shift Lawrence set up a GoFundMe page
‘No one deserves this kind of abuse, especially a 17-year-old young girl, in a time when we as a country should stand united,’ he wrote.
Impatient and rude customers who lost all sense of perspective began swearing at the young staff as the barrage of orders quickly overwhelmed them.
The shop opened a 2pm but by 4:30pm, things were almost out of control.
Instead of six scoopers inside the shop, a team of seven had been split with three working outside in the parking lot, another manning orders and a further three solely scooping.
But the demand was so great that the teenage workers simply couldn’t cope.
One customer even got out of her car to scream at Lawrence.
Lawrence posted a very despondent post after a horrendous evening on Friday
The ice cream parlor has been closed until lockdown restrictions are over
‘Hold on, hold on: It’s ice cream,’ Lawrence thought. ‘Ma’am, you do not have to be here; I don’t have to be here; these kids don’t have to be here,’ he thought.
Eventually Lawrence was forced to post a message on Facebook: ‘STOP ORDERING’ and he unplugged the phone.
After finally logging back onto Facebook at 9:30pm, an hour after the store should have closed, he said to the Boston Globe it was ‘the lowest feeling I have ever felt.’
‘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,’ he wrote in a heart–rending Facebook post.
‘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.’
More than $38,000 has been raised for the teenage girl towards college fund
The news caught the attention of Governor Charlie Baker.
‘I’ve actually been to that ice cream place,’ Baker said. ‘I feel terrible for the owner, who everybody I know says is one of the most decent people you’d ever want to meet. I feel awful for the young kids who were just trying to serve a product that people really wanted, which is kind of a rite of the arrival of warm weather and summer and all the rest.’
‘As much as we all might not like some of these changes in the way things work … we have all got to stand up and recognize that this is going to put almost everyone in a somewhat different position than they have ever been in before,’ Baker said. ‘And day in and day out, I believe the vast majority of people in Massachusetts will stand up and accept their responsibility.’
Lawrence has decided to close the ice cream parlor until further notice.
Meanwhile, the GoFundMe page set up for the teenager has raised $38,500 towards the girl’s college fund.