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Impostor crashes Ruby Tuesday earnings call to demand answers about Harambe

And you thought business was boring.


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Published Aug 12, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 6:43 am CDT

Businessmen will do their business. Mere months after the great ape Harambe’s tragic death at the Cincinnati Zoo, the business of men goes unfeelingly on. But on Friday, one man had the courage to ask the greatest unspoken question in the business world: Does restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday have a plan to mitigate Harambe-related losses

The man, who joined Ruby Tuesday Inc.’s fourth-quarter fiscal year earnings call, was not even a business man by trade, though he should consider becoming one. He displayed a fine knack for the “disruption” so prized in today’s fast-paced business galaxy. 

Our hero used the alias “Bud Fox,” the name of a fictional character played by Charlie Sheen in Wall Street, and claimed to work for a fictional firm from the film. Despite those red flags, he successfully posed as analyst—one of only three on the call— and got a turn to ask his question of CEO JJ Buettgen.

Here’s a transcript

Operator: “Our next question comes from Buddy Fox with Geneva Roth Holding Corporation.”

Buddy Fox: “I just have one question. Do you think your revenues are negatively impacted by Harambe’s death and if yes, do you have any plans to mitigate it?”

Here, important business, the business of the big burger men, ground to a halt. 

JJ Buettgen: “Excuse me, can you repeat your question please? Impacted by what?”

Fox: “By Harambe’s death and if yes, do you have plans to mitigate it?”

Buettgen: “I am sorry. I don’t know we have a bad connection. I couldn’t quite hear the question.”

Operator: “He has lost connection.”

The exchange was only about 30 seconds long, but those are 30 seconds that Ruby Tuesday Inc. CEO JJ Buettgen will never get back. For an instant, the corporate dealings of an American casual dining chain stuttered before carrying on as before, completely unimpeded. 

But in that instant, there was no talk of basis points or earnings targets. Not even talk of shareable appetizers or Hickory Bourbon Chicken. No, there was talk of Harambe, the ape we can never have back. And there was general confusion. Mostly confusion. But a little bit Harambe.

And isn’t that what Harambe would have wanted? 

H/T Business Insider

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*First Published: Aug 12, 2016, 4:02 pm CDT