Customers’ bad behavior closes ice cream shop a day after re-opening following virus lockdown

U.S. & World

MASHPEE, Mass. (CNN Newsource) — Many small businesses across the country are trying to reopen safely and some are facing unexpected challenges.

One Massachusetts ice cream shop owner said he had to close his business just one day after reopening because customers were harassing his employees.

Normally ice cream puts a smile on people’s faces, but things got so ugly, that one of his best employees quit.

It was meant to be a quiet opening at the Polar Cave ice cream parlour in Mashpee to kick off Mothers Day weekend.

The owner has been able to open under restaurant guidelines, but wanted to wait until he felt it was safe for everyone.

Still, Friday was anything but business as usual.

“One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift, she stuck it through her shift,” Mark Lawrence, owner of the ice cream parlour. “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 said they posted online that all orders must be placed an hour in advance, but, he claims not everyone listened, and instead, took their anger out on his employees when they got busy.

“Now I open the doors to a whole new world, with gloves and masks and we’re running around like chickens, and people are like where’s my ice cream. I’m not a trauma center, it’s ice cream,” exclaimed Lawrence.

The shop is now closed to the general public and is doing limited car deliveries until Lawrence says he can figure out a new plan.

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

This ice cream parlour is one of many small businesses now trying to figure out how to re-open from a pandemic shutdown, while dealing with customers who don’t always choose, to follow new guidelines.

He said everyone should start with patience, and kindness.

“We’re not claiming that we know what we’re doing,” Lawerence said. “We don’t know what we’re doing! But we’re giving it a shot.”

The owner said the goal is to eventually open back up to everyone, but how they’re going to do that safely is still unclear.

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