I may get into trouble but here's what I think....

Many labs scan film your negative and print. If I just scanned my negative and printed, they all look muddy. No clear white and no clear black. Low in contrast. Long story short, it does take some manipulation to make a scan look like what optically printed B&W image would.

My guess is, the operator just scanned and printed. Printing B&W this way takes a whole different skills and mindset from doing the same with color. I agree with polygot. The operator didn't care or know how to do it correctly.