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CRW 1 ‘Nut Rage’ Executive

May 26, 2015

Heather Cho, former executive with Korean Air, was released from prison last week. She became internationally famous for her nutty response to being improperly served macadamia nuts. Her imprisonment since December 30 was the result of violating plane safety and abusing staff. In February, she was sentenced to one year in jail, but on Friday, a judge released her from prison and gave her a suspended sentence.

Students: Choose ONE of the following to answer.
1. Was she punished fairly?
2. If you were the judge, how would you have punished her? (either serious or funny responses)
3. Does public humiliation work as a punishment?
4. Are wealthy, powerful people treated differently by the justice system?
5. Is putting family members in key positions a good way to run a company?
6. Imagine you are the flight crew who was abused by Heather Cho. Also imagine that this is your last flight for Korean Air because you just won the lottery. What would you have done instead?

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49 Comments leave one →
  1. Ana permalink
    May 26, 2015 10:11 pm

    #5 Is putting family members in key positions a good way to run a company?

    Personally, my answer is no. Putting family members in key position may be good way to run a company, but it is not the “best” way for company. A company which consists of family members may have too much power for their employees and wield enormous power to them, like Heather Cho. The inequality between family members and normal staff is much bigger in the family-run business especially major company in Korea. Most of the conglomerates in Korea run their company by family members, and this makes gap between the rich and poor even worse. Many talented and passionate people can’t even try the high position because of the regulation. Loss of the talented person, the company is damaged eventually. Clearly, family-run business makes unfair discrimination, shortage of competitive power, and “nut rage”.

    • cocomong permalink
      May 27, 2015 2:06 pm

      I agree. putting family members is not best way for company.

    • Alex permalink
      May 29, 2015 2:00 am

      I completely agree with your opinion. It is a really big problem in our society. All of the people must be esteemed by their ability.

    • Jong permalink
      May 29, 2015 10:54 am

      Yeah, this is unfair, and make the gap between the rich and poor worse.

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:32 am

      I also completly agree with your opinion. As all know, it is really serious problem in our society. It is need to appoint as a fair procedure.

  2. jennykoo permalink
    May 27, 2015 5:28 pm

    Puting family member in best position is not the best way. Because they would understand people who don’t have money or second citizen class. But Korea has the history of family succession over 100years. However the world has change. In 21 century, the leader needs to be who respects others personality. If the company would do family succession they first need to do character building. And Korea needs to be change. They need to give a chance to talented people. Rich family or who runs company would live well already. Person who are talented but if they don’t get chances, then Korean has no vision. It would be tough world to live. Hope would be driving force to live a life go on. I hope Korea improve about family succession.

    • jennykoo permalink
      May 27, 2015 5:32 pm

      #5

    • seung permalink
      May 27, 2015 7:53 pm

      I agree. A fair opportunity is very important.

    • Alex permalink
      May 29, 2015 2:04 am

      I agree with your opinion. Succession should be eliminated.

    • Jong permalink
      May 29, 2015 10:56 am

      Yep. this is not their work. this is their parents’s .

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:35 am

      Your right!! It is need a fair opportunity. It is really serious problem in South Korea. It cause the gap between the rich and the poor is more worse.

  3. seung permalink
    May 27, 2015 7:30 pm

    2. If you were the judge, how would you have punished her?

    She always holds a high position in society. So, she doesn’t know the truth about common life. In the sight of her, it is not easy to understand common life. Her behavior was arrogance of the nobility toward the common people. Many conflicts in our personal relationships can be avoided if we take the time to acknowledge others’ feelings and points of view. Therefore, if I were the judge, I would have sentenced that she have to experience as a janitor at the airport. She have to put herself in the other’s shoes and see what others feel. By looking at life from another person’s perspective , she might succeed in finding solutions to treating the staff.

    • proftodd permalink*
      May 27, 2015 11:25 pm

      Interesting punishment. It is unfortunate that many people who grow up wealthy have little understanding of ordinary life, so perhaps this might help her with empathy.

    • Jong permalink
      May 29, 2015 10:59 am

      yeah, I agree with your point ~ ! lack of understanding caused the accident.

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:38 am

      Wow!! It is really interesting and unique punishment. And it is really effective punishment.I also think it helps her to understand ordinary life.

    • Ana permalink
      June 11, 2015 2:11 am

      Interesting, and your judgement is quiet fresh and new way to solve the problem

  4. Lionel Messi permalink
    May 27, 2015 8:17 pm

    Imagine you are the flight crew who was abused by Heather Cho. Also imagine that this is your last flight for Korean Air because you just won the lottery. What would you have done instead?

    If I were the flight crew, I would not take it lying down. Because I won the lottery, I’m not afraid of anyone. So If Heather Cho do the same, I slap her face strongly and say “sit down if you don’t want to get punched with peanuts you bitch.” Characteristically, she wouldn’t stand for this treatment and shout away noisily. Just then I’ll put peanuts in her mouth and walk her off to toilet. After that I’ll immerse her head in the dirty water and confine her a place there’s no people. After landing at the airport, I throw her away out of the plane.

    • proftodd permalink*
      May 27, 2015 11:27 pm

      Whoa! I hope I don’t upset you in class. I wouldn’t like my head to be immersed in toilet water 🙂

    • Alex permalink
      May 29, 2015 1:56 am

      If I am a Cho Hyun-ah, I will begged for pardon on bended knees…… I’m sorry.

    • Jong permalink
      May 29, 2015 11:01 am

      it is so funny, this is too bad but.. that will be cool maybe..haha

    • Adam permalink
      May 30, 2015 11:19 pm

      lmao 🙂 Can’t stop laughing. your word choice make me laugh. I AM dying lol.

    • kimmy permalink
      May 31, 2015 1:54 am

      I get vicarious satisfaction by your imagination lol. i am giggling now. It’s so funny 🙂

    • jia permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:14 am

      It is so funny but a little bit extreme,, anyway it is cool idea:-)

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:40 am

      Haha. I agree with you!!!! I would also do this!!!

  5. Alex permalink
    May 29, 2015 1:53 am

    5. Is putting family members in key positions a good way to run a company?

    My answer is absolutely not.
    Putting family members in key positions of the company is one of the most endemic problems in Korean society. The biggest reason for it is the history of the Korean industry. It has short period than other countries such as USA, England, Germany, and so on. As a result, In Korea, most conglomerates’ founder are still alive and they also serve as CEO and chairman of the company. They manage the company directly and transfer their right of management to their family instead of hiring a professional management. It causes declining employees morale and employees feel enormous lethargy. Because family members can easily promote and occupy the important role in the company like Cho Hyun-ah. But, most normal employees can’t easily be promoted to the executive. For these reasons, many young and talented people loss the will to work and leave their company. It causes the great damage to the company.
    In sum, family-owned business has many negative effects and it causes the conflict between employees and employers like Cho and crew members. Therefore, I think that putting the family in the significant role is the worst choice of the company.

    • Jiwon permalink
      May 30, 2015 2:52 am

      I totally agree. Putting family members in key position should not be allowed.

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:45 am

      I also agree with you. Putting the family in the significant role should not be allowed anymore!! It is a serious problem in our society. I hope it is fixed as soon as possible.

  6. Jong permalink
    May 29, 2015 10:51 am

    2. If you were the judge, how would you have punished her?

    If I were the judge I will punish her same as common people. every men should be equal before the law. however, wealthy people always take advantages of the law. there is a saying “one law for the rich and another for the poor”. even if she is so rich, she should be severely punished. if she was just a common person and does not have money, her sentence is never shortened and can’t be released by now. money can’t be a solution to a sin. when judges decide the sentence, I hope they don’t see one’s position or wealth. I think deciding sentences according to the wealth is almost same as racial discrimination. there is no difference between them. we should recognize this inequality and raise our voice.

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:48 am

      It is good idea!! I also agree that every men is equal before the law!!

  7. Yu-Genie permalink
    May 29, 2015 7:01 pm

    “We are all equal before the law” is common sentence and everyone knows this. However, I think, everyone who knows that sentence also knows that it is not realistic in Korea. Surprisingly, some people think wealthy people can deserve to have reduced sentence only because they support this country economically. For example, former president Lee Myung-Bak gave 55 pardons to political aides jailed for corruption. Before him many other former president of South Korea gave other powerful people special pardons. Does this make sense? Do you agree this is right? I do not think so. Human right is equal. No one can touch this. Because of that, wealthy people are treated evenly like everyone else. Supporting our country does not mean that they have higher human right than everyone else.

    • Yu-Genie permalink
      May 29, 2015 7:02 pm

      #4

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:56 am

      Your right!! Wealthy people and powerful people also should be treated evenly like everyone else. As you said, former president Lee Myung-Bak and Heather Cho, former executive with Korean Air should be treated evenly!! I completely agree with your opinion.

  8. jia permalink
    May 29, 2015 9:01 pm

    #4. Are wealthy, powerful people treated differently by the justice system?

    In my thought, an answer to this question is “Yes.” If an ordinary person who is not wealthy and powerful, the police or justice may not be concerned about how much that person is punished. Because he or she is not afford to influence their power or wealth to police or justice. However, if wealthy, powerful people do commit a fault such as macadamia nuts, justice may concern about how to solve this problem. Since they are wealthy and powerful, they are afford to influence to judge. For example, it is possible that they ask to fire or degrade of their superior of judge who had justice to them. Most people think how it is possible. In Korea, the justice consists of people who has high level education, and those who are wealty and powerful also did get the same level of it. It is easy to contact each other, and this, a kind of system, is called ‘school ties.’ This system has a possiblity that powerful people influence to justice system or anyother things. Thus, I think wealthy and powerful people are treated as little more kind by the justice system.

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:58 am

      I also agree with you!!^^ Why wealthy, powerful people are treated differently by the justice system?? They also should be treated the same!!

  9. cocomong permalink
    May 29, 2015 11:40 pm

    6. Imagine you are the flight crew who was abused by Heather Cho. Also imagine that this is your last flight for Korean Air because you just won the lottery. What would you have done instead?

    If I just won the lottery, I would gather all peanuts put her face. Because I have a lot of money! And I’ll hire a lawyer for preparing her legal action. If I will the trial, I can get an opportunity not only to punish her but also to back the plane. Although I have to pay some money that she will argue her metal care cost low-mindedly, I don’t have to experience the stress.

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 10:57 am

      I also agree with you. Haha. It is good way!!

  10. Jiwon permalink
    May 30, 2015 2:49 am

    1. Was she punished fairly?
    I do not think so. Her deed is crime. Returning flight is not just flying back. It is not that simple thing. Because she returned the flight, two hundred and fifty people had to wait for twenty minutes. An airline company earns money by servicing their clients. Passengers use a certain airline because they believe that the airline company provides comfortable and fast flight. The thing Heather Cho did was completely opposite for this belief. Also, the reason she returned the plane was unreasonable. Who cares that nuts are in plate or not? Although if she thought that it was a serious problem, simple warning is enough. In my opinion, violation cannot be allowed in that situation. Therefore, suspended sentence is too light. She need some time to regret her deed in prison.

    • Shannon permalink
      May 31, 2015 11:04 am

      It is not fairly like your thought. I agree that it is need to change!!!

  11. Adam permalink
    May 30, 2015 11:15 pm

    2. If you were the judge, how would you have punished her?

    I considered Heather Cho’s revenge on the staffs. I thought that she surely would punish the staffs who tell the truth to public, like firing them. So if I were the judge, not only I would pass a jail sentence, but also I would not let her contact or approach the staffs. I think a person who is like Heather Cho definitely can have a rage on those who ruin her life. Meanwhile, she was like a princess. But the very brave words of the staffs unveil a secret. The staff’s testimony was worth rewarding, but actually they are under fears: fears of revenging. So for their safety, I would pass her approach prohibition to the staffs and reward the staffs like protect them from firing.

  12. kimmy permalink
    May 31, 2015 2:48 am

    5.Is putting family members in key positions a good way to run a company?

    I don’t think it’s good and i think these are the dark side of family management

    1) Entrepreneurship is lacking compared to the founder
    2) they hard to distinguish between corporate money and their own money.

    Johyeonah is gain laugh with peanuts from the world and her brother johyeonmin makes further collapse. I do not know how can they manage such a unversial company with that kind of poor thinking and attitude.like this case, familiy bussiness is able to control and manipulate public authorities to obtain economic benefits or privileges through private ownership structures such as pyramidal ownership. which is why the government should supervise the conglomerates’ business activites far more srtictly, requiring responsibilities corresponding to their rightsand privileges.

  13. Bob permalink
    May 31, 2015 4:35 am

    4. Are wealthy, powerful people treated differently by the justice system?

    The law is written that it treats all people equally and support weak ones. However, as the famous saying ‘one law for the rich and another for the poor’ shows, there’s a huge gap between law’s treating of the strong and the weak. Heather Cho was sentenced to ten months of prison labor with two years of probation. Recently, a disabled couple who were in poverty sentenced to six months of prison labor with a one year of probation by the punishment of burglaries. Needless to say, twice of this couple’s crime will not be the same as her crime. About a year ago, there was also a ridiculous affair called ’emporor’s labor’. Jaeho Huh, a chairman of Daeju group, was sentenced to pay fine of 25 billion won originally. But the judge sentenced him to pay that with laboring. The problem was that the daily paid fine for that laboring was 500 million won, which doesn’t make any sense. In my opinion, these kinds of ‘one law for the rich and another for the poor’ cases are occurred by the position of the judge. Judges are in position of controlling people. Therefore, people admire and fear of them. So riches who committed crime will bribe them with things that are value like countless bills. And eventually, judges who accepted that bribe will sentence that riches weakly. Judges and riches will never widen their distance even later in thousands of years.

  14. Shannon permalink
    May 31, 2015 10:15 am

    Q. Imagine you are the flight crew who was abused by Heather Cho. Also imagine that this is your last flight for Korean Air because you just won the lottery. What would you have done instead?

    A. If I were the flight crew, I would not yield to the authority. In South Korea, it is common for people to succumb to authority even though it is unfair reasons. The reason why they bow to power is money. Therefore, If Heather Cho did the same, I would not take it lying down because I won the lottery. I am not afraid her, no matter how she is executive with Korean Air. I would show how I am scared. I would shout her, “This is my plane and I’m the best here. If you make a noise continually, I would you away out of the plane. Sit down and shut up!” If she wouldn’t follow, I would hire the best lawyer and judges and punish her sternly. From this, I would show every person who abuses their power that even a worm will turn. Everyone is equal. And there is not any reason to fell on his knees and apologize simply because of money and authority. It is plutocratic despotism and obsessively tyrannical.

  15. nottting permalink
    May 31, 2015 4:18 pm

    4. Are wealthy, powerful people treated differently by the justice system?

    I think it is absolutely true. There is really popular saying in Korea, “The rich are not guilty. The poor are guilty.” It is said by Gang-hun Ji who is one of the absconder. According to survey from Law Consumer Network in Korea, not only Gang-hun Ji but also 80% of nation agreed with that wealthy, powerful people are treated differently by the justice system. It is based on the fact that after 1990s, among the top 10 head of conglomerates in Korea, 7 people had been sentenced to 23 years imprisonment in total. However, they had been pardoned only after nine months when they were sentenced in average. The soft punishment is the foremost and important problem. Moreover, wealthy people can retain a competent lawyer, but the poor cannot even retain a lawyer. Most of people do not know well about the law so that people who cannot retain a lawyer have no choice but to be in an unfavorable condition. Finally, wealthy people often make backdoor deal with judges. I think this issue really harms the society so that this should be corrected.

  16. christiano woonaldo permalink
    May 31, 2015 11:22 pm

    2. If you were the judge, how would you have punished her?(either serous or funny reponses)

    If i was a judge. I have punished her strictly. She is a vice-president of the Korean Air. But she haven’t right to return air-plane before fly.There were many passenger. And anyone couldn’t know who were there, and couldn’t know who had a urgent business. MAybe there were a many victims. Adults always teach students noblesse oblige. However, this case showed corruption of the upper class. How can students learn and practice noblesse oblige who saw ‘nuts return’. So, if i was a judge. I have punished her like this.

    1. She have to compensate every passenger who were in Air plane.

    2. She have to apologize each passenegers.

    3. She have to apologize every crew members and compensate he or she who felt mental anguish.

    4. She have to do community service 5 years in school.

    I have punished her like these four punishments. I want to make her regret her behavior, and realized what’s the problem with her behavior. This is the purpose of my punishments. And i want her to be a high class person who can practice noblesse oblige

  17. Barbie permalink
    May 31, 2015 11:30 pm

    5. Is putting family members in key positions a good way to run a company?

    For efficiency only, putting family members in key positions may be a good way to run a company, because they can reduce the extra time and money spending on their employees. Also, taking over or information delivery will be more easy and quick. Some people who says that efficiency is all in modern capitalism society, may insist like this. However, I think it is against the social justice and deception to many employees who desire that positions. Even though efficiency is what the companies care about, they should give the same opportunities for all of the applicants. Michael J.Sandel said that basic principle of the justice is free-competition and equal opportunity. It means that social-status or money should not intervene in choosing person for their company. I think the main cause of the ‘nut rage’ is capitalist’s unconscious thoughts that they can do all what they want, and I think these thoughts are related to putting family members in key positions.

  18. star_s permalink
    June 1, 2015 1:12 am

    4. Are wealthy, powerful people treated differently by the justice system?

    I think it is yes. At least, in our country the wealthy treate more better by justice system. Korean law are exquisitely executed for establishment. Though it is not officialy, the head of judicial related with the wealth and powerful people well. The people who moenyand power blinded judges despiteoffender was guilty, they not judged fairy. Even they judge in in wealthy’s favour .Korea has serious corruption in judiciary and Prosecution Service. Even the Corrupt powers get rid of guilt. Also the wealthy get a conviction but the opposite, weakness people suffer more pain from wealthy people. This systems must now cease.

    • Fairy permalink
      June 1, 2015 9:22 pm

      As I chose the same quetion with you, I totally agree. The corruption must be rooted out.

  19. Linda permalink
    June 1, 2015 2:32 am

    5. Is putting family members in key positions a good way to run a company?

    In my oppinion, putting family members in key positions can be a good way to run a company occationally. Usually people tend to consider someone who have top executives in family as a nepotism such case of ‘nut rage’. However, it’s not all the time. A successed company of Hongkong are the examples. In one Honkong company, most of employees are considered of one family. President of that corporation said that family-oriented way is very effective. Actually, faith and affection among family is much helpful to running company. So I think putting family member in key positions is not all bad thing.

  20. Fairy permalink
    June 1, 2015 9:21 pm

    Are wealthy, powerful people treated differently by the justice system?

    I think powerful people especially who have big authority in political society are treated differently when they are judged by the justice system. In Korean, there is a famous saying ‘유전무죄 무전유죄’ which means one law for the rich and another for the poor. In other words, all mighty is the dollar. This could be seen not only in nutty response, but also in other cases. For example, the CEO of Dongyang got a reduced sentence last month and the assailant of murdering a female university student by contract got commuted too. It is unpalatable but frequent in Korean society.

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