Thursday, January 05, 2012

"This is the governor, what is your name?"

Sometimes, I think that at least some politicians are paid off by comedians to act like complete morons and be recorded as doing so. The latest case of this is the governor of Gyeonggi province, Kim Mun-su, who took it upon himself to see how cancer patients were transferred in his province by directly calling 119 (Korea's equivalent of 911). The conversation, which unfortunately is not subtitled but is hilarious if you can understand even a little Korean (도지사 means governor). The call went something like this:

Operator: "Hello?"
Kim: "Yes, this is the governor, Kim Mun-su."
Kim: "Hello? Hello? Hello?"
Operator: "Yes, go ahead."
Kim: "This is is governor Kim Mun-su, who am I speaking to?"
Kim: "Hello? Hello?"
Operator: "Yes, what is the reason for your call?"
Kim: "This is the governor, what is your name?"
Operator: "Sir, what is the reason for your call?"

Finally, Kim snaps, quite rudely, I thought, "I asked you for your name, why didn't you answer?" and "I said I was the governor, didn't you hear that?" To this, the operator asks Kim for his emergency, pointing out that he hasn't exactly called the operator on his cell phone. Kim, obtuse and arrogant, says in banmal, "no, the governor called and asked you for your name, you're not going to answer?" The operator asks again for the emergency and Kim responds with another moronic grunt, asks for the operator's name once more, before the operator hangs up.

Incredibly, Kim calls back at around 2:00 in the clip and repeats the same line of inquiry: "Yeah, this is the governor, is this the same person I spoke to earlier?" The guy gives his name, but asks for Kim's emergency, to which he responds, of course, that he is the governor. The operator says, "right, I understand," and Kim finally just hangs up.

Amazingly, Kim's delusional power trip didn't end at this. After Kim complained to the fire department, both operators (actual firefighters rather than operators) were transferred. When this became public, the fury was enough to shut down the provincial government's website. Eventually the transfer was reversed and Kim made a visit to the fire station in question.

Both officers apologized to the governor both for prematurely judging the governor's call to be a prank call and for ignoring the regulation that states that they are required to give their name when answering a call. Of course, the law also states that prank calls to 119 are punishable by a fine of 2 million won (about $2,000), but we already know that the law doesn't apply to powerful people.

Netizens naturally had a field day with Kim and made countless parodies of this phone call. My favourite is this one that mixes Kim with a clip of the recently-jailed Jeong Bong-ju swearing at the person on the other end.

No comments: