Major Award: Hilarious Asshole of the Day.

edelmanBenjamin G. Edelman is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, which as you probably know is the premiere, go-to institution of higher learning for America’s Owners and many of their kindred doucheweasels.

Illustrious alumni include these fine citizens:

  • George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
  • Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, co-founder of Bain Capital
  • Henry Paulson, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, former CEO of Goldman Sachs
  • Teresa Clarke, former managing director Goldman Sachs (2004-2010)
  • David Viniar, CFO and Executive Vice President of Goldman Sachs
  • Jamie Dimon, CEO and Chairman of JP Morgan Chase
  • John Thain, former CEO of Merrill Lynch
  • Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States armed forces
  • Gabi Ashkenazi, Chief of the General Staff, Israel Defense Forces
  • Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense and former President of the World Bank
  • Jeffrey Skilling, Former CEO of Enron, convicted of securities fraud and insider trading
  • Michael Bloomberg, media magnate and former Mayor of New York City
  • Chase Carey, President of News Corporation
  • Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric
  • Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard
  • Gary Rodkin, CEO and President of ConAgra Foods
  • Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform
  • Ann S. Moore, CEO of Time Inc.

…and many, many more financial, political and media elites (the rest of whom went to either Harvard Law School, Yale or Wharton).

Anyway, back to this Edelman d00d. He has a Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an A.M. in Statistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College (summa cum laude). I think it’s fair to say that Edelman is extremely smart—and extremely well-connected. This is precisely why his email correspondence over the last couple days is so fabulously, freakishly, funny. Here’s the setup:

Ran Duan manages The Baldwin Bar, located inside the Woburn location of Sichuan Garden, a Chinese restaurant founded by his parents.

Last week, Edelman ordered what he thought was $53.35 worth of Chinese food from Sichuan Garden’s Brookline Village location.

Edelman soon came to the horrifying realization that he had been overcharged. By a total of $4.

If you’ve ever wondered what happens when a Harvard Business School professor thinks a family-run Chinese restaurant screwed him out of $4, you’re about to find out.

SPOILER ALERT! The Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute and threats of legal action make several hilarious appearances.

edelman1edelman2Anyone who has ever worked in any kind of service job with the public has met at least one Ben Edelman. They’re relentlessly demanding and scheming bullies who are remarkably adept at wasting prodigious amounts of everyone’s time (including their own), and leaving a wide swath of head-scratching, eye rolling and snickering in their wake.

But can I just say? I looooove this Ran Duan d00d: Oh, you notified the authorities? Okay, great. Then I’ll just wait to see what they say. Wanna make sure I handle this properly, as I’m sure you understand. Of course, this only drives Edelman to escalate the hilarity. The article that posted their correspondence notes:

Ran Duan moved to the U.S. from China when he was 3-years-old. His father had hoped to support the family with a career as an opera singer, but when that didn’t pan out, Duan says “like all Chinese families we decided to open up a restaurant.”

“I personally respond to every complaint and try to handle every situation personally,” said Duan, who was profiled by Boston Magazine in June and featured in GQ Magazine last month as “America’s Most Imaginative Bartender.”

The exchange with Edelman stood out to Duan. “I have worked so hard to make my family proud and to elevate our business. It just broke my heart.”

BTW, Edelman said of the food: “It was delicious.” He also said he plans to “take a few days” to decide whether he’ll pursue further legal action against Sichuan Garden. Incidentally, the court fee for filing a civil case in Massachusetts is $240, plus a $20.00 security fee and a $15.00 surcharge.

OMFG I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THAT COMPLAINT. All I want for Christmas is for Ben Edelman to sue Ran Duan. If he does, I have little doubt that the Internet will come through for Duan’s legal fees in a big way—that is in the unlikely event that no lawyer will happily defend Duan for free for the lulz. Oh, and for the legal fees and costs that will be awarded to Duan eventually, after Edelman exhausts all of his appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.



5 thoughts on “Major Award: Hilarious Asshole of the Day.

  1. Friggin brilliant.

    I hope your neighbor (somewhere in Manhattan) Borowitz sees this award post. The shame will go galactic.




  2. I saw that. Color me unimpressed.

    “Many people have seen my emails with Ran Duan of Sichuan Garden restaurant in Brookline,” Edelman wrote.

    Translation: everyone in the English-speaking world with an internet connection is laughing at me right now and calling me an asshole. My bosses, clients and colleagues are all like, wtf? It’s… downright uncomfortable.

    “Having reflected on my interaction with Ran, including what I said and how I said it, it’s clear that I was very much out of line.

    Translation: I didn’t think anyone would ever see my one-and-only-I-swear instance of petty abusiveness! Which I have never before engaged in with anyone!

    I aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others, no matter what the situation.

    Dooood. If you think you aspire to act with great respect and humility in dealing with others? Um, we can all read your emails.

    Clearly I failed to do so.

    Ya think?

    I am sorry, and I intend to do better in the future.

    Now if you had just said that, and then done something cool for Ran Duan, I’d be a lot more likely to believe you. Sympathetic, even: we all fuck up—albeit usually not for hundreds of words in ever-escalating email diatribes over the course of several days—and a sincere apology and vow to do better in the future is the appropriate response to being called on it. Actually doing better in the future? We shall see. In the meantime…Translation: I really want to keep my Harvard gig, so I’ll definitely try to better conceal my assholeish doucheweaselry in the future.

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