Friday, April 14, 2017, 12:58 PM
Posted by Administrator
Korean air lines have a history (from my limited understanding) of crashing airliners as a result of poor cockpit dynamics. Korean pilots are also in the Korean Air Force Reserve. The First Officer (right seat) might have a higher rank in the Air Force than the Captain. Air Force culture has it that you don't question a senior officer....even if he is about to crash the airplane. This scenario played out in San Francisco a few years ago when a landing Asiana Airlines 777, with a Korean crew, hit short of the runway. As I understand it, everyone else in the cockpit knew the plane was coming in too low but nobody would say anything because the (I believe it was) First Officer executing the landing was highest in (Korean Air Force) rank.

Years ago a KAL flight was shot down by a Soviet fighter after over-flying a Soviet military installation on an island near Japan....similar scenario to SF. Everyone in the cockpit except the pilot know they were off course.....nobody would say anything. (Note: There are many competing theories about why KAL 007 crashed...the cultural explanation was featured in the Smithsonian TV show, AIR DISASTERS others include: spy mission and taken off course by Russian jamming signal). Lessons learned from Korean airplane crews have (from my understanding) made their way into the operating room and, for example, nurses, are now encouraged to mention to doctors things like "You are about to slice open the patient's artery." even though the surgeon is higher ranked than the nurse is.

I thought of all this yesterday during my call to my grandson's elementary school principal. My grandson told me that the principal was yelly and unpleasant when she told him and three other boys that she wasn't going to have them get on the lunch line with their class....because they were overflow and seated at a different table. My grandson said that for the past couple of months they's gone up with the class because a cafeteria worker had told them to.

(Note: Part of my expertise in elementary school comes from my mother having taught 4th grade for approximately 100 years. Elementary school goings-on was our all-the-time dinner conversation as my father did not talk much.)

It is my belief that no teacher, assistant principal, aide, secretary, school police officer, volunteer or member of the Parent's Association is ever going to criticize the principal. Our culture has it that, to survive or get ahead, you don't take the people above you to task....even though to get better------even to stay as good as you were when you came on board....if you don't get feedback, your performance will begin to decline. I believed that it was up to me to call the principal and, so I did.

My message was: Perhaps you over-reacted. No big deal, but, maybe you did. The idea I was trying to communicate was: Next time....think about it....because nobody in your school is going to tell you that you could have handled it better. As a result of the phone call, this is what I found out (from the principal).
-The principal is good and gracious and knows all about the lunchroom.
-The principal does not ever overreact.
-The principal never wants a child to go home unhappy.
-The principal is ready to explain, in great detail, the workings of the cafeteria.

Was I disappointed? Sure, it is nice when people are receptive to outside ideas and it is great when people just listen and don't try to justify themselves. Everyone makes mistakes. This may or may not have been one of her's. Maybe it is all on my grandson. On the other hand, it was sad that she didn't consider the possibility that it was on her......even for a second.

On the other hand, next time she goes to yell at some cafeteria kids...whether she is right or wrong....maybe she will think to herself "Am I going to get another pain-in-the-rear phone call out of this? Would any of the people under me have the guts to tell me if I go overboard?"

Either way, at least she won't be driving an airplane into the sea and taking hundreds of innocent lives with her.

At least not literally.
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