Everyone remembers Bill Buckley’s famous axiom that he’d rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard University. My great teacher Harry Jaffa had a corollary to the Buckley Theorem, which held that it would be better to be educated by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard.
Either way, fresh evidence of the Buckley Theorem and Jaffa Corollary comes this week from Harvard Business School’s professor Ben Edelman, who, though a mere associate professor, is clearly striving for tenure as a full jerk. (This adds evidence, by the way, that business schools are succumbing to political correctness and intellectual triviality as much as any law or other graduate school.)
It seems the good Prof. Edelman recently ordered about $50 worth of food from a Chinese take out, and—sit down for this outrage—was overcharged $4 on his bill. Okay, so maybe this immigrant merchant, who suffers from not having a favored Hispanic surname*, cheated a little on the bill. Or maybe, just maybe, it was an honest mistake. Whatever the truth of the matter, the shriveled soul that is Prof. Edelman wants to make a federal case out of the $4, though I suspect Prof. Edelman’s salary at HBS is likely greater than the profits of this Chinese takeout joint, and I thought Harvard profs were all about sharing the wealth.
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.
There follows at the link above screens shots of the email exchanges between Edelman and the Chinese takeout, and they don’t reflect well on Edelman. Worth taking in if you have a few spare minutes to see what a total jerk Edelman is. Boston.com continues:
Edelman told Boston.com that investigating pricing discrepancies by neighborhood restaurants isn’t something he does every day.
“I mostly look for malfeasance by larger companies,” he said. “It certainly seems like a situation that could call for legal redress. But this is a small business in the town where I reside.”
As for the troves of angry customers likely looking for recourse? Edelman pointed Boston.com to Massachusetts General Law, Section XV, Chapter 93A, Section 9. (Translation: If you didn’t pass the Massachusetts bar, but still feel as though you must do SOMETHING, then just gather all the receipts you’ve saved, along with all screenshots you took and saved of the website menu in case that dinner order ever ended up in court, find a lawyer whose fees aren’t likely to exceed the few dollars you’re seeking, and … voila?)
As for Edelman, he alerted town officials in Brookline about the matter, but told Boston.com he doesn’t expect them to take action. He plans to “take a few days” before deciding whether to pursue any further legal action against the restaurant.
Normally I don’t go in for the crude vernacular of our time on Power Line, but sometimes you really need to say Whiskey Tango Foxtrot—what a douchebag. Advice to Harvard Business School students: Avoid this guy’s courses. You’ll thank me later. You’re welcome.
*Harvard’s discrimination against Asian applicants is the subject of a new lawsuit. I’d love to hear Prof. Edelman’s thoughts on this matter.