Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A crumb of (eventual) comfort

Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee, Massachusetts, opened quietly on May 8, hoping to help folks enjoy Mother's Day weekend. Customers were asked to place their ice cream orders one hour in advance, but many refused, and when they crowded into the shop they ignored social distancing. They became angry when they had to wait for ice cream, and began cursing the staff, including yelling obscenities at a 17-year-old girl who has worked there four years and was saving her salary for college. The owner, Mark Lawrence, said, "the words she was called you wouldn't even say in a men's locker room. People have forgotten how to treat other human beings." The 17-year-old quit at the end of her shift.

After work on Friday, Lawrence wrote on Facebook, "In 19 years of operation, this is the lowest feeling I've ever had." But his sorrowful post quickly went viral in Mashpee, eliciting an outpouring of public support. By Sunday, Polar Cave had re-opened and customers followed the rules. But there's more. Since Lawrence knew his 17-year-old employee had been saving for college, he started a GoFundMe page for her. By Tuesday, she had received $30,000.

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