Not Only in America

The U.S. has  the Kochs and the Waltons, who  we think of as the evillest people in the  world, and there  may be some truth to that, but other countries have their arrogant oligarchs as well.

Meet the Cho’s.  I’d  never heard of them before, either, until macadamiagate.  But that’s my whole  point.  There is probably a family or two like this in  most countries.  People who are wealthy enough to think the laws don’t apply to them because, in fact, they don’t.

The family history  includes the usual stuff, some tax evasion, a road rage thing, but it was the macadamia nut incident that brought them into the public  eye, internationally.  A mosquito can kill an elephant.  What happened is that Cho Hyun-ah, also known  as Heather Cho, was sitting in  first class (of course) on a flight from New York to Seoul.  As the flight was waiting to take off, a steward brought her a bag of  macadamia nuts.

She got pissed off and irate and freaked out a bit, because apparently he was supposed to put the nuts on a plate.  They had to bring the plane back to the gate, and the steward was sacked.  In one sense, she was justified in  pointing it out because she is (or actually was – at least in South Korea, actions still have consequences) the director of  customer service for the airline, and a vice president, which is not too surprising, in view of the fact that her father owns the company.

But, as she’s director of customer service, you’d think she’s be a little more able to handle a situation like that without major consequences.  She could have called the steward back over and said: Hi, you might not know me but I’m Cho Hyun-ah and I’m your boss.  I’d like  to remind you that in first class you’re supposed to serve macadamia nuts on a plate.  Don’t let  it happen  again.”  And the problem would have been solved.

Cho Hyun-ah

Cho Hyun-ah

The difference between South Korea and the U.S. is that  the incident is being investigated and Cho could be charged with disturbing the peace, interfering with a flight crew, some stuff like that.  Unlike all the police officers who’ve actually been filmed  killing people.


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