Korea’s Reputation–The Little Things

November 22, 2008

Korea’s Reputation–The Little Things

Noticed two very interesting things in Seoul, South Korea this week while visiting. They both impressed me and enhanced Korea’s reputation in my mind.  First, as I was going through immigration to have my passport reviewed, I noticed the little counter where people sometimes have to fill out  their landing cards because they forgot to do it on the plane or filled it out in pencil.  One usually sees pens set aside in this area for people to fill out their personal information.  In the Inchon airport in Seoul, they had several pairs of reading glasses at the counter available for people who might have troubled eyesight.  Since it is usually older people who need these seeing aids, it made me think about what a kind and thoughtful gesture this is. In New York where I live, any glasses left unattended at JFK Airport would probably disappear in moments.  The other reputation-booster that I noticed was when I was in a taxi on my way to dinner with my colleagues. For some reason, I am used to being in the back seat (I take too many taxis or sat in the back for too many years when my kids were younger) and the headrest in the passenger seat always blocked my view.  Sitting in a car’s backseat requires you to look sideways to take in the landscape or cityscape. Forget about looking straight ahead. In Seoul, the taxi driver clicked a button and the headrest snapped downwards so I had a perfect view of what was in front of me. As I sat there I could not believe my good fortune. I had an unobstructed view of dynamic and highly visual Seoul. Why don’t American cars do this with their cars? Anyone who has spent time in the backseat (usually women and children) knows how annoying it is not to be able to look straight ahead without the headrest blocking your view. I usually console myself with the idea that the headrest is there for safety’s sake so why complain. But when I heard that click and saw the headrest collapse, I thought that someone somewhere in Korea listened to someone who spends a lot of time sitting in the backseat. Good for Korea.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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