A Harvard Professor Launched an Epic Rant Over an Extra $4 on his Chinese Takeout Bill

Dec 10, 2014

A man ordered Chinese takeout. Things went downhill from there.

Ben Edelman, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, expected his takeout order from Boston-area restaurant Sichuan Garden to come to $53.35.

But the bill for his meal from the Brookline, MA, restaurant — shredded chicken with spicy garlic sauce, sauteed prawns with roasted chilli and peanut, stir-fried chicken with spicy capsicum, and braised fish filets and napa cabbage with roasted chilli — was $4 too high, boston.com reports, based on menu prices Edelman saw online.

So the professor emailed the restaurant to ask why. Ran Duan, who owns a bar in one of the restaurant’s other locations (his parents founded the eatery), replied. The email exchange escalated. It ended with Edelman still out $4, a worker at a “mom and pop” Chinese restaurant wondering if all this was really “worth your [Edelman’s] time," and a lot of Twitter rage for Edelman, Harvard, lawyers, and grade inflation, among other things.

Here’s that rage:

Word is getting out. A Harvard professor has behaved badly:

Uh oh, no one is surprised. Harvard’s name is getting besmirched:

https://twitter.com/ExumAM/status/542450451057098752

https://twitter.com/ICUDrEd/status/542472764683472896

And we do mean besmirched:

Well, Harvard Business School, to be specific. HBS is to blame.

Also, privilege, elitism, and grade inflation:

Whoops, all lawyers are going down over this, too:

And everyone in tech:

Now, how shall we punish Edelman?

Or maybe just tweets like this will do:

Don’t worry Edelman, not everyone hates you:

https://twitter.com/RaineyReitman/status/542573474863001600

There is chatter about an entertaining sequel:

Let’s all head to Sichuan Garden and plan one:

Except, Edelman is not invited. Actually, everyone is a bit curious, if nervous, about what it might be like to have dinner with Edelman:

We’ll probably never find out, though. Edelman is escorted out of society:

And we are left to reflect on its rubble:

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