Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Michael Clayton Review -- test upload

On Saturday the Phnom Penh Film Club will view the smash-success directorial debut from career scriptwriter Tony Gilroy, *Michael Clayton* (2009), starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Sydney Pollack and Tilda Swinton. 

As described in the DVD commentary, Tony Gilroy's pitch for this masterpiece was as spartan as it was resonant with a young turk's confidence. "I want to tell a back-of-the-house story about a high-end law firm," he told the powers-that-be. "There will be no courtroom scenes, it will have a star part, and someone will die." 

That's it. That's all he told them.

...Probably if you or I had pitched that movie -- especially that way -- it would have enjoyed the kind of chances usually reserved for snowballs in very hot places. But experiential firepower matters in Hollywood (indeed at least as much as who you know), and where experience is concerned Mr Gilroy wasn't shooting blanks. This may have been his directorial debut, but his teeth were cut on writing for some pretty amazing pictures in their own right, as lead screenwriter for all three of the original Bourne Identity movies, and as writer-producer of the relentless albeit flawed movie about South American kidnap extraction, "Proof of Life." With Michael Clayton, then, Gilroy doesn't so much announce his arrival as prove that he belonged in the class of the "arrived" from the very beginning. 

George Clooney plays the title role: the resident "fixer" can keep the top-flight clients from bolting to another firm, taking all their more reputable business dealings with them. ("Never underestimate a motivated stripper, Henry.") Tom Wilkinson plays the senior litigator of the firm, and dogged defender of a shady agribusiness conglomerate with deep pockets and conspicuously shallower convictions.

The film opens with the booming voice of Wilkinson's character Arthur Edens, speaking in what sounds like affectionate, you-won't-believe-what-just-happened tones to his long-time colleague Michael. As he monologs unseen, the camera reveals a series of cutaways touring an apparently empty and darkened law firm in the middle of the night (though, on re-watch, our eyes are perhaps drawn to the shot of a ten-line office phone, on which eight of the lines are in use and the other two are on hold). "Okay," we think to ourselves, if only momentarily, "I get it: he's leaving someone a voice-mail." Except the longer Edens speaks, the more obvious it becomes that something is terribly amiss. ("...I realized I had been coated in this patina of shit for the best part of my life. The stench of it and the stain of it would in all likelihood take the rest of my life to undo. And you know what I did? I took a deep cleansing breath and I set that notion aside; I tabled it; I said to myself as clear as this may be, as potent a feeling as this is, as true a thing as I believe that I have witnessed today, it must wait....")

Edens, it transpires, suffers from a manic depression so enthralling that he occasionally misses its effects badly enough to skip his pills. After ten years of the agribusiness defense being all the life he has, Edens needs just the sort of holiday he knows he'll get by leaving the lids on his medicine bottles for a while -- prompting him eventually to strip naked in front of one of the plaintiffs at her own deposition. And when this happens, who else can the firm trust to rein-in their star attorney and soothe the rattled client, than their own in-house fixer Michael Clayton? And will Michael, confronted with a choice far more dramatic than any of the principals could ever have anticipated, do the right thing *or* the good thing, and for that matter will he even get the chance before his own shady dealings get the best of him? 

Executive producer Steven Soderbergh affixes his creative thumb-print all over this one, a film that might in a pinch be described as "Traffic Takes Manhattan," with all the same one-beat-out-of-rhythm unease, the same flaws in the characters' logic (and in their character), and the same sense that, if people don't get busy recognizing themselves for who they are pretty doggone soon, they're really going to regret it. Through the combination of Soderbergh and Clooney's executive oversight, with Gilroy's perfect-pitch on the subject of how to pace a suspense picture--stringing it tighter and tighter without snapping its plausibility in his hands--the film emerges as a best-of-three-worlds collaboration: at once uneasy and irresolute like Soderbergh, instantly sympathetic in that special way peculiar to Clooney, and absolutely gripping from the opening monolog all the way up to -- and through -- the end-titles, the device for which is at once the most simple and straightforward, and perhaps the most difficult to pull-off, of any I've yet seen.

On the insistence of Pollack and Soderbergh, Gilroy was given final-cut on this picture (something even he himself is on-record knowing well enough not to expect ever again), and his choices in the editing process reveal a sense of self, and a sense of medium, that even most of the great names in directing needed a lifetime to inhabit with such deft and underplayed aplomb. James Newton Howard's soundtrack outdoes even the best of his previous work, with haunting swells and fades juxtaposed against just enough low-rumble percussion to keep us planted squarely on the hook (the opening monolog is periodically stung with the muffled sound of someone striking the lowest half-dozen strings on a piano, through the opening between the lid and the case, instead of using the keys), and the set decorations are chosen with the kind of maestro care with which we can immerse ourselves totally into the competing worlds of a big and bustling midtown law firm, or a dingy basement poker match, without once feeling tugged around. In a particularly interesting wrinkle that also works -- flawlessly -- one of the very first scenes in the picture, and certainly the most tense and suspenseful in the first reel, is also one of the last scenes in the picture, meaning that at the end of the film we spend a thrilling car-ride sitting next to George Clooney, worried for him and all that he stands for in the movie, despite knowing exactly what's about to happen.

Literally all of the actors hit their marks impeccably -- thanks in no small measure to Casting Director Ellen Chenoweth: conservative and true-to-type where that will suit the movie (David Lansbury as Michael's alcoholic and no-account brother Timmy), but bold in precisely the right doses as to leave us, in the audience, feeling that extra undercurrent of tension that comes with a fine acting talent playing just a bit outside themselves. Most notable in this respect is the choice of Tilda Swinton, the always virtuoso actress (Vanilla Sky, Adaptation) who must somehow figure out how to play the in-house counsel for the client company, and do it in such a way as to come across equally cold-blooded and obviously in over her head ... and who of course pulls it off with skin-crawling deadpan.

I hope everyone will plan to join us Saturday for a film as cinematic as it is ambitious, as delicate as it is unstoppable. A film whose every character is sympathetic without always being likable, rendered with a maestro's flair for brushstrokes that are always beautiful while hardly ever being pretty. Few titles we've shared so far should be considered as universally can't-miss, and few are anything like as sure-fire bets to entertain.  
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Friday, April 23, 2021

Remembering the Most Brilliant Stupid Show Ever to Air on TV


Thirty-nine years ago today, April 23, 1982, the CBS smash-hit WKRP in Cincinnati aired its series finale after four short years. And no, this isn't a post about movies. But it is a subject that hits near and dear to my heart so do please bear with me. 

When I was twelve years old, I knew exactly one thing about that silly tale of silly people working for a silly and so often star-crossed radio station in the anonymous midwest: I knew that it was the only thing on TV that was anything *like* this kind of funny. At age twelve, that was more than enough. 

Somewhere along the line I even convinced myself that my first paying job in life would be as a commercial, on-air radio disc jockey and, four short years after that last episode, so it came to be. As upside-down as that logic sounds, in hindsight it seems the least I could have done in tribute to one of my very favourite segments of television entertainment, ever, across my entire life. Hilarity wasn't the watchword for this show; it was the fail-safe minimum from week to week.

If you say "WKRP in Cincinnati" to  anyone in my demographic the odds are better than not that the reply to come back will be some variation on, "...As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." As well it should be. Many, many of us will literally never forget where we were, and what we were doing, when we saw that episode. It was the funniest thing that had happened on television for years. 

But here's the thing, the sneak, the plot twist, the subtle brilliance of this devilishly subversive show: While you were too busy choke-laughing your way to apoplexy to notice, this scrappy, silly little program was also challenging everything you might have thought you could rely on about television and popular culture. From the very first episode, creator and head writer Hugh Wilson led an island of misfit-toy guerrilla writers (who, it was widely rumoured, closely mirrored the cast of characters at the station), on a ground-up demolition of cultural and broadcast norms, challenging everyone who watched while still keeping the show's wit sharp enough to con us into only vaguely even noticing that our morals and mores were being pulled apart right in front of us.  

The pilot threw this gauntlet down as effectively as any pilot of a television program ever would, even if most of us could barely pull ourselves together off the carpet long enough to notice. "Bailey, I'm calling a meeting this afternoon with Les and Herb," says the newly hired "Andy Travis" (Gary Sandy), Program Director and semi-willing XO of the clown patrol that is this station. "I want you to be there too."

And Bailey Quarters (Jan Smithers) blushes, adjusts her glasses, and says, "I've never been invited to a meeting before."

"Well," says Travis, simply -- and truthfully -- "that's been a mistake."
.
This was in 1978. The program we were all already scream-laughing at from over the tops of our Swanson TV-dinners had just casually and matter-of-factly challenged every last one of us on gender equity in the workplace, and it was 1978. A topic that you could reasonably expect to see addressed in a first-run program this very evening. 

From there, the Wilson writing team would only go on to just-as-effortlessly feint us into seriously reconsidering our retrogressive dogmas about racial justice, sexual harassment, Vietnam draft evasion, gay rights, substance abuse, poverty and crime, autumn-spring romance, impaired driving, animal welfare, unscrupulous concert promotion practices, bullying, Cold War self-determination, and inter-generational white privilege. Among rather a lot else. 

In one particularly poignant moment (from a typically hilarious episode, otherwise), staff receptionist Jennifer Marlowe (Loni Anderson) finds herself acerbically faking her way through a call-in advice program, when she discovers that one of her glib, off-the-cuff responses has just gotten a young woman badly beaten by her abusive husband and eventually hospitalized. Thence, over the span of about four minutes, a nondescript episode buried in the middle of their third season, wrote itself into confronting spousal abuse, sham-credentialing, employee crisis counseling, and the systemic -- one might rightfully say horrifying -- failures of the American mental health care infrastructure.

"You can't just shut yourself off, Jennifer," says station manager Arthur Calrson (Gordon Jump), in one of four emmy-nominated moments for him. Jennifer, fighting back tears, asks him why not. "Because I need you," says Carlson. 

"...I don't want people to need me," says Jennifer.

"Yes you do," says Carlson. "Yes you do."

A poignant moment, a dramatic confrontation of just one of the scary, basement dwelling foibles that our flawed and limping society throws up at us when we're least equipped to deal with them. Written so close to the bone that you can feel it underneath your skin. So clean, so distilled of flourish and bravado, so tight that you can reach up toward your screen and just about ping it with a finger. 

I would have said, "television doesn't get made like that anymore." It's a great writing device and I've pulled it from my bag of tricks a thousand times. But it doesn't apply. It's not that TV doesn't get made like that anymore, exactly; it's that, somewhere along the line, we forgot both the credit deserving of such pioneering bravery -- and the old fashioned need to couch our social comment, to consciously de-tune our "very special episodes," to ... gosh, I dunno, maybe entertain the audience with a welcomed laugh or two along the way. 
.
That's what doesn't get done anymore. Socially important television can be seen on any channel any time, day or night -- but rarely with the elan, and dash, and above all the wit, of shows like WKRP. It wasn't just hilarious; it was a riot in both senses.

We could sure use a show or two like that around here now. 
.
Dave O'Gorman
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Next Terrifying Crisis That No One's Talking About

Earlier today I was idly turning over the shards of all this fractured lunacy and I came to a terrifying hypothesis. The antecedents take a few lines each but I hope not to waste too much of anyone's time with this. I didn't revise for language, so I hope you'll forgive the noticeably folksier style for a start. But for better and for worse, here, first, are the building blocks that self-assembled for me over coffee this morning:

1. Hard-line Republicans aren't hypocritical and disingenuous by accident; they say the things they say because they've convinced themselves that the other side are *so* horrible and *so* worthy of hatred that any means can be justified as long as Democrats are kept from power. 

I had an extremely smart, extremely conservative student in Gainesville who in October 2004 said to me in total seriousness and good faith, "John Kerry's stated objective if he wins the election is nationalize all private-sector businesses." (Emphasis original.)

This was, I reiterate, an extremely smart and apparently critically inquisitive guy -- and by the way, not a kid either: I'd have put him in his early-to-mid-30s at the time. And there he was saying something so inherently ludicrous that in any other context he would have seen it as utter gibberish from six blocks away. 

A better thinker than I said the same thing recently, though I couldn't find the link just now. His version went like this: "I don't trust my used-car salesman, but if you told me he was cannibalizing dead children from a failed pedophile ring that he'd been running out the back room of a pizza parlor, I'd still have a pretty hard time taking you seriously." You can't just distrust someone to get to this kind of monstrous de-humanization of their point of view. You have to hate -- literally and viscerally -- before you can get to a place like that. Rationality has to be skewered to a corkboard in the next room.


2. For these people the Covid-19 epidemic has thus never, never, never actually been about whether or not it's real or a hoax.

From the very beginning, and like everything else, it's been about optics: If I say it's a hoax, it's not that I think it's a hoax; it's that I'm sowing a very particular and premeditated uncertainty that will undermine your otherwise inescapable conclusion -- that my one and only savior of the country messed this up.

If you hesitate to agree that this is how modern Republicans operate, you need only examine just how drastically and how abruptly the Republican foreign policy reversed direction when Trump came to power: Clearly those folks never actually cared any more than the rest of us did that Constantine Chernyenko was repressing Christianity in suburban Moscow. They wanted *YOU* to care more than the rest of us, so that you'd vote for the guy who wasn't a Democrat. Because that, that was what had mattered all along.


3. When reality comes into unusually sharp collision with this kind of faithlessness in an ideology, people never, ever, ever respond by coming out with their hands up about it.

The simple explanation is that they've already pushed too many of their chips on the "no it's not" square, to retreat with anything like graciousness and preserved credibility. This is why sixteenth-century philosophers get jailed for looking through telescopes: The aggrieved cohort have all already said that the earth is the center of the universe, and they know better than the rest of us that they've said it in an absence of good faith -- and with the ugly ulterior motive of using it to control the social discourse and economic- and political mobility. If they say, now, "Okay, maybe the earth isn't the center of the universe after all," they haven't lost the point; they've lost the game. And they know it.


4. These factors taken together would make the present crisis with the President's health artificially unnerving at *any* time. 

Even before I was able to assemble the pieces, the thought of just how gleefully un-grounded the narratives will have to get from here, was enough to just about stop the heart. But here's the thing about that:


5. A cornered faithless ideologue isn't his usual run-of-the-mill dangerous when we're only a month away from his preferred guy's appointment with electoral defeat. 

Okay, roll-play time: Imagine that your life was defined by the thought that Joe Biden was a puppet of forces bent on harming everything you value and rely upon, from your job to your dominion over how you raise your children. Now imagine that something happened to make it extremely unlikely -- even in your own mind -- that Joe Biden would emerge from the crisis in a much stronger political position than the persons you support. Imagine that this thing, whatever it was, happened thirty days before the election, and with no apparent timetable for its remedy or even enough time for an attrition-based change-of-subject. Imagine that your only sources of information are unhinged, screaming vitriol, and that every time you try to inform yourself, the purveyors of that vitriol only agitate you even more than you were before you checked the news.

Now imagine one more thing. Imagine that, in anticipation of whatever awful terror might befall you at any liberal whim or any post-election moment, you have been proudly and overtly arming yourself for years. 

You see where I'm going with this?

A few days ago I posted on Facebook that Donald Trump was only going to be more dangerous now that he was cornered, but I'm afraid that post managed to quite spectacularly miss a terrifying point: It's not that Donald Trump is going to be more dangerous because he's cornered; it's that his followers are. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, the conclusion to which I came this morning when this realization finally presented itself, is that someone will very shortly now be making a credible attempt on Joe Biden's life. Someone's going to try to shoot him. 

Will there be mass casualties? Maybe. An incident at a rally would certainly check all the familiar boxes. But to dismiss the idea that someone will probably now at least try for the candidate himself, is to discount the principle that Mr Trump's base can and often does choose self-defeating violence over admitting that it was wrong. And anyone who would dismiss *that* idea, has been watching a very different electorate than I have for the past four years. 

David O'Gorman 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
4 October, 2020


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Monday, March 16, 2020

Eight Reasons Why It Might Not Yet be Time to Buy

Under normal circumstances, a selloff of the scale and breathless rapidity as we’ve seen in early 2020 would mark a prime opportunity for bargain-buying of financial assets, notably stocks. The Morningstar fair-value ratio for the equities market as a whole is down to 0.83, off its recent highs above 1.06 – ostensibly describing a market even more oversold than it had been overbought a month ago. The Fed and other central banks around the world have promised liquidity infusions, the coronavirus seems to be slowing in Asia, the White House has signaled consumer-oriented tax relief, and the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, has literally never closed at this high a value in the history of its existence, a fact which in past selloffs has presaged a more-or-less immediate rally. Under normal circumstances, a decision to take fresh long positions in equities would stand as near to a can’t-miss play as amateur investing may reasonably allow.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

The Greatest World War II Story You've Never Heard

In 1939, Geoffrey Tandy had been toiling away for years in comfortable obscurity as a specialized biologist at the Natural History Museum of Great Britain. He loved his job, he loved his country, and he loved serving in the Royal Naval Reserves on alternate weekends. But with Germany's invasion of Poland, individuals just like Tandy and from every corner of the free and civilized world would find themselves asking exactly what he did -- namely, "What can I do to help out even more?"

And in Tandy's case, the answer to that question turned out to be, "More than he or anyone else could realistically have imagined."

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Complete Transcript of My Live Chat With Ali Express

Author's note: What follows is the complete, un-edited transcript of a live chat I just had with the folks at Alibaba.com, AKA AliExpress. For those unaware, AliExpress is an Asia-based answer to eBay and Amazon.com, all put together. The live chat reproduced here followed my first attempt to make a purchase with them -- as it happens, to buy Christmas presents for some young people who live next door to me here in Cambodia.

Mimie  20:20
Hello David!

Mimie  20:20
How are you today?

Dave O’Gorman 20:21
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman 20:21
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:22
I'm good. This is my first time using Ali Express, and I'm having a problem checking out

Dave O’Gorman  20:22
And I'm having a lot of trouble describing my problem to you right now, also

Dave O’Gorman  20:22
"character limit exceeded: message not sent"

Mimie  20:23
Okay do not worry let me help you.

Mimie  20:23
Can I have a screen shot please?

Dave O’Gorman  20:23
I'll try. But the problem is easy to describe:

Dave O’Gorman  20:23
When I try to check out, I get the "for security reasons we cannot continue" page

Mimie  20:24
Is that for appeal?

Dave O’Gorman 20:24
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:24
Yes, but then when I click the "appeal," my browser says "error: too many redirects"

Dave O’Gorman  20:24
So at the moment I can't check out at all.

Mimie  20:25
Can I have a screen shot of the "error: too many redirects" ?

Mimie  20:25
So that I can determine what happen.

Dave O’Gorman  20:25
I just tried, and accidentally closed the tab -- and now the whole thing is lost.

Dave O’Gorman  20:25
Stand by

Mimie  20:26
Sure dear thank you so much!

Mimie  20:26
I will do all the possible way to help you.

Dave O’Gorman  20:26
Can you stay with me while I refill my cart? It only had two items in it.

Mimie  20:27
Sure dear I will.

Mimie  20:27
Just do not forget to chat me every 2 minutes dear to avoid disconnection.

Mimie  20:27
[ww:玫瑰]

Dave O’Gorman  20:27
Okay, stand by -- I've got one of them in there.

Mimie  20:28
Take your time David/

Dave O’Gorman 20:28
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:29
I had expected that the cart would remain full because I had other Ali Express tabs open at the same time, but alas -- no

Mimie  20:29
So your cart is empty?

Dave O’Gorman  20:30
I've refilled it now. But I see now that I lost my $4 first-time user coupon. :/

Mimie  20:30
Okay I see. The problem here is the coupon.

Mimie  20:31
Do you still have the order number?

Mimie  20:31
Do you still have the order number?

Mimie  20:31
Okay I see. The problem here is the coupon.

Dave O’Gorman  20:31
I'm filling in my credit card information now....

Mimie  20:32
Okay dear go on.

Dave O’Gorman 20:32
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:32
Okay, I've made it as far as the "for security reasons, we cannot continue" page, and I'm ready to click "My Appeal"

Mimie  20:32
Thankyou dear

Mimie  20:32
To avoid this to happening again I suggest that you under go appeal dear. So that our system can verify your payment method. This process only happen once dear.

Dave O’Gorman 20:32
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:33
Yes, but clicking My Appeal has caused my web browser to give a "too many redirects" error. So I cannot undergo appeal.

Dave O’Gorman  20:33
Stand by.

Dave O’Gorman  20:33
Clicking....

Mimie  20:33
Thankyou dear

Mimie  20:34
[ww:玫瑰]

Dave O’Gorman 20:34
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:34
Okay, for some reason I did not get the too many redirects error this time.

Dave O’Gorman  20:34
But I have a new question.

Dave O’Gorman  20:34
Do I have to submit all of this stuff, or just one of them?

Mimie  20:35
I will give you some tips

Dave O’Gorman  20:35
Okay

Mimie  20:35
On the picture of ID, the name should be shown. On the picture of cards and bank statement, the following information should be shown: bank logo, bank name, (the first six and last four card number). On the bank statement, it is advisable to show the statement of your "payment only on AliExpress"

Mimie  20:35
That's all we need to see. Not everything.

Dave O’Gorman 20:35
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:36
I don't understand the sentence beginning with "On the bank statement...."

Mimie  20:37
We only need to see on your bank statement the previous transaction from aliexpress

Dave O’Gorman 20:37
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:37
There hasn't been any payment to AliExpress, so it there won't be a transaction to show.

Dave O’Gorman  20:37
This is my first time trying to use AliExpress

Mimie  20:37
Okay thank you dear

Mimie  20:38
May I know if you see a space provide on the bottom of the appeal form?

Dave O’Gorman 20:38
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:38
Also, I don't have bank statements -- I do all of my banking on line.

Dave O’Gorman  20:38
Yes, there's a place for "Message (Optional)."

Mimie  20:38
okay I understand that.

Mimie  20:39
Please write there that you do not have any bank statement since your are a first time buyer/.

Dave O’Gorman  20:39
I can take a screen capture of an on-line statement for the relevant account.

Mimie  20:39
That will do dear.

Dave O’Gorman  20:39
Okay, so no bank statement -- just the passport and the card

Mimie  20:40
Yes dear

Dave O’Gorman  20:40
Now can I have my $4 coupon reinstated, as well, or is that over.

Mimie  20:40
Please provide a note that you do not have a bank statement

Mimie  20:40
Okay, next if for the coupon concern?

Dave O’Gorman 20:40
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:41
Yes, I can do that. And yes, I'd like to get my $4 first-time-user discount, since I never got to use it.

Dave O’Gorman  20:41
(If possible.)

Mimie  20:41
Regarding on that I will refer you to our AliExpress team that are trained to handle issues that you have. They have the proper tool to assist you on your request.

Macy  20:41
Hello,I am a service consultant Macy 

Macy  20:42
Thank you for contacting AliExpress. My name is Macy  . I am your service representative.

Dave O’Gorman  20:42
Hello!

Dave O’Gorman 20:42
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:42
I have an unusual problem, and I've been transfered to you to perhaps assist me with it.

Macy  20:42
Hello David ?

Dave O’Gorman 20:42
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman 20:43
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:43
Bear with me -- your character limit is really restrictive.

Macy  20:43
Yes dear no worries I will do my best to help you

Dave O’Gorman  20:43
I've tried typing my problem three times, shorter each time, and it keeps getting thrown out for being too long.

Dave O’Gorman  20:44
I received a $4 coupon for being a first-time user on Ali Express.

Dave O’Gorman  20:44
But when I tried to pay, the payment was disallowed for security reasons.

Macy  20:44
Its Okay dear

Dave O’Gorman  20:44
And when I clicked "My Appeal," it crashed my browser because of a "too many redirects" error

Dave O’Gorman  20:45
So now I've gotten that part to work, but I had to start over with the order -- and I lost my coupon

Macy  20:45
Okay dear I understand your comcern

Dave O’Gorman  20:46
So I'd like to get my $4 discount, but the problem is that I am already at the My Appeal page.

Macy  20:46
okay dear the $4 coupon is for new member and first come first serve

Macy  20:47
But if you cannot use the coupon you can negotiation to your seller about this discount you want

Dave O’Gorman  20:48
But I had the coupon -- it had been awarded to me -- and I didn't get to use it for technical reasons.

Macy  20:48
You mean you submitted the appeal about the coupon ? I am right ?

Dave O’Gorman  20:48
No

Macy  20:48
Okay dear

Dave O’Gorman 20:48
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:49
I don't even understand the word "appeal" in this context, but it's the company's language

Dave O’Gorman  20:49
My payment was disallowed "for security reasons," and I was instructed to click "My Appeal"

Macy  20:49
The coupon will be automatically applied once you place an order

Dave O’Gorman  20:50
Wait, what? Once I place an order? That's not what happened.

Dave O’Gorman 20:50
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:50
When I had to start over, re-filling the cart (because the browser had crashed), the coupon was gone.

Macy  20:50
Okay may Ia sk if you already place an order ?

Dave O’Gorman 20:50
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:50
I am trying to place an oder, but the payment was disallowed.

Dave O’Gorman  20:51
I then had to start over, trying to place the same order, when the AliExpress site caused my browser to crash

Dave O’Gorman  20:51
And now I've gotten as far as checkout, but the coupon isn't there anymore.

Macy  20:51
Okay dear What payment method are you using to pay an order ?

Dave O’Gorman  20:51
Credit

Dave O’Gorman  20:51
(Master card)

Macy  20:52
Okay dear MAy I know one of your order number please ?

Dave O’Gorman  20:53
What is an oder number, exactly?

Macy  20:54
The order number is the reference of the item you place and you but

Dave O’Gorman 20:54
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:55
I still don't understand, you mean I should go back to the AliExpress main page and search for one of the two items in my cart?

Dave O’Gorman  20:55
I can do that

Dave O’Gorman  20:56
Is that right?

Macy  20:56
Okay dear did you already place an order ?

Dave O’Gorman  20:57
I am trying to place my first oder.

Dave O’Gorman 20:57
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:58
The first time, when my payment was disallowed, I clicked "My Appeal" and it crashed my browser

Macy  20:58
Okay dear just try it and let see what will happened

Dave O’Gorman  20:58
What?

Dave O’Gorman  20:58
I don't think we're communicating.

Dave O’Gorman  20:58
Can we start over?

Dave O’Gorman 20:58
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  20:59
This is really frustrating because I can only type a few words at a time or I exceed the character limit

Macy  20:59
Can you clarify dear ?

Dave O’Gorman  20:59
Okay. Can I ask you to wait until I type "THE END" before you respond?

Dave O’Gorman  20:59
I'm not intending that to be rude, but this will take several lines of text

Macy  20:59
okay dear yes.

Dave O’Gorman  21:00
This evening, as a first-time user of Ali Express, I filled up a cart, and proceeded to checkout.

Dave O’Gorman  21:00
When I filled in my credit card information and hit the pay now button, I got an error message

Dave O’Gorman  21:00
The message said, "For security reasons we cannot continue"

Dave O’Gorman  21:00
Please click "My Appeal" so that we can verify....

Dave O’Gorman  21:00
So I did. I clicked "My Appeal."

Macy  21:01
I'm listening

Dave O’Gorman  21:01
The result of which is that my browser crashed.

Dave O’Gorman  21:01
The error message was, "Too many redirects."

Dave O’Gorman  21:01
As a result of this, I had to start over with the same order.

Dave O’Gorman  21:01
I had to go all the way back to the main page, and search for the two items from the beginning.

Dave O’Gorman  21:02
I found them both again, and proceeded to checkout.

Dave O’Gorman  21:02
When I entered the credit card information, and clicked pay now, I again got the message

Macy  21:02
okay

Dave O’Gorman  21:02
saying that my payment had been disallowed "for security reasons"

Dave O’Gorman  21:03
This time, when I clicked "My Appeal," my browser didn't crash.

Dave O’Gorman 21:03
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:03
This time it took me to a page where I can upload a photograph of my passport, and a letter from my Mom, and a pint of blood

Macy  21:03
okay

Dave O’Gorman  21:03
But the order itself is still pending

Dave O’Gorman  21:04
There is no previous order

Dave O’Gorman  21:04
and there is no "try it and see what happens"

Dave O’Gorman  21:04
I'm on a page where I'm supposed to take photos of all kinds of sensitive information, before I can proceed

Macy  21:05
Okay

Dave O’Gorman 21:05
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:05
And when I filled the cart up from the beginning, the second time, I didn't get my $4 coupon for being a first-time user

Dave O’Gorman  21:05
Even though I never got to use it the first time

Dave O’Gorman  21:06
So I'm asking if it's too late, because the second attempt to place the order is pending, to get the $4 discount

Dave O’Gorman  21:06
THE END

Dave O’Gorman  21:07
:-)

Macy  21:07
Okay I understand

Macy  21:08
As i understand that you want to use your coupon to get the discount

Dave O’Gorman  21:08
The $4 first-time user discount, yes

Dave O’Gorman  21:09
If possible

Macy  21:09
did you try to use it to place an order ?

Dave O’Gorman  21:10
I don't think we're communicating. I'm not sure why.

Dave O’Gorman 21:11
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:11
I applied the coupon on the first attempt to place the order this evening

Dave O’Gorman  21:11
The first one that the payment was disallowed for security reasons

Macy  21:11
Okay dear I understand

Dave O’Gorman  21:11
The one that crashed my browser when I clicked My Appeal

Dave O’Gorman 21:12
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:12
And then, when I had to start over because my browser had crashed, the coupon didn't appear at the bottom of the checkout page

Macy  21:12
Yes I understand you can get the new user coupon so that you can use the coupon again

Dave O’Gorman  21:13
Okay, how do I proceed

Macy  21:13
Okay dear please wait will send to you

Dave O’Gorman  21:14
okay

Macy  21:14
PLease hold on dear

Dave O’Gorman  21:14
Okay

Macy  21:15
Thank you dear

Dave O’Gorman  21:16
standing by

Dave O’Gorman  21:16
(no hurry -- I just don't want to get disconnected)

Macy  21:16
yes dear

Macy  21:16
https://sale.aliexpress.com/__pc/(redacted)

Macy  21:16
Go to this link dear

Dave O’Gorman  21:17
Okay, but the problem is that the order is already pending

Dave O’Gorman  21:17
Can I use that link for a subsequent order?

Dave O’Gorman  21:17
Or would I have to start over again?

Dave O’Gorman  21:17
With this order?

Macy  21:18
You may cancel the pending and place it again so that your order will be proceed

Dave O’Gorman  21:18
Okay -- I guess that's the best we can do.

Macy  21:18
Yes Thank you for understanding

Dave O’Gorman 21:18
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:18
May I ask how common it is to be required to take photographs of one's passport and credit card and bank statement?

Dave O’Gorman  21:19
I feel as though I've been pretty significantly inconvenienced by this. Which isn't your fault, but that's how I feel.

Dave O’Gorman  21:19
And the appeal page says it could take three business days, which means delayed shipping

Macy  21:19
Is that on your appeal dear ?

Dave O’Gorman  21:19
Yes

Dave O’Gorman  21:20
Would you like to see a screen capture?

Macy  21:20
Yes please

Dave O’Gorman  21:20
Okay, stand by

Macy  21:21
Okay dear :)

Macy  21:21
I'll wait for you
Dave O’Gorman  21:21

Dave O’Gorman  21:22
Oh, and I see there's an oder number at the top -- can we apply the $4 discount if we know the order number? :-)

Macy  21:23
No dear there's no option for that

Dave O’Gorman  21:23
Okay

Dave O’Gorman  21:23
But you can see the screen capture, yes?

Macy  21:23
Yes i see it

Macy  21:23
And to clarify is about to your appeal ? right ?

Dave O’Gorman  21:24
Yes, although I still don't understand the company's use of the word "appeal" in this context

Dave O’Gorman  21:25
I'm being disallowed from using my credit card to buy things on the company's website.

Macy  21:25
Okay

Macy  21:25
For further explanation and resolution regarding on your concern, I need to to connect you to our Financial Department as they have the right tools and expertise on handling payments and refunds issue on the site.
Our service consultant is now with you.

Dave O’Gorman 21:25
There’s no real point in doing that, I don’t think.

Freya  21:25
Hello,I am a service consultant Freya 

Freya  21:26
Hi! You have been transferred to Payment and Refund Department. My name is Freya  .

Dave O’Gorman  21:26
Okay, hello.

Freya  21:26
Hi there dear customer!

Dave O’Gorman  21:26
Thanks. I'm not sure you can help me, really

Dave O’Gorman  21:26
I think I was transfered to you by reflex

Freya  21:27
Don't worry, I will do what I can to help you with this matter today!

Freya  21:27
Your problem is regarding appeal, correct?

Dave O’Gorman  21:27
I'm a first time user of AliExpress, and I can't get the company to accept a payment

Dave O’Gorman  21:27
I don't understand the company's use of the word "appeal" in this context -- makes me seem the party in the wrong

Freya  21:27
Okay I understand.

Dave O’Gorman  21:28
I would like to be able to complete my checkout, but if I can't it's not the end of my world. :-)

Freya  21:28
This error means that the system was not able to verify the payment you are making.

Dave O’Gorman  21:29
Yes

Freya  21:29
Have you already tried submitting the appeal, so the system can verify the card you are using so can pay your orders successfully once verified.

Dave O’Gorman  21:29
No -- this all just happened.

Dave O’Gorman  21:29
This is why I said that I didn't think you could help me.

Freya  21:29
If system detects that there may be any kind of risk during the transaction, you will not be able to pay the order to ensure the safety of your money.

Freya  21:29
In this kind of scenarios, the best option will be submitting an appeal, so you won’t have this inconvenience again.

Dave O’Gorman  21:30
There's something you should know, I think.

Freya  21:30
May I know what is it?

Dave O’Gorman 21:30
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:30
The first time I tried to checkout, the payment was disallowed "for security reasons," and I clicked My Appeal

Dave O’Gorman  21:30
(as instructed)

Freya  21:31
Yes that is the appeal I am referring.

Dave O’Gorman  21:31
...And it crashed my browser. I got an error message saying "Too many redirects."

Dave O’Gorman  21:31
It happened three times, and then the computer hung up completely and I had to reboot.

Dave O’Gorman  21:31
So then I had to start all over again with the order, filling an empty cart from the beginning.

Dave O’Gorman  21:32
And in the process I lost a $4 first-time user discount

Freya  21:32
I apologize for the inconvenience that caused you.

Freya  21:32
I am very sorry to hear that.

Dave O’Gorman  21:32
I thought you would want to know that the "My Appeal" link has a problem

Freya  21:33
Does it go to system busy after clicking the link?

Dave O’Gorman  21:33
I don't know what "go to system busy" means -- would you like to see a screen shot?

Freya  21:33
Please do, that will be helpful.

Dave O’Gorman  21:34

Freya  21:34
Can you please try to copy and paste this link https://irescenter.alipay.com/appeal/appealList.htm in your browser.

Dave O’Gorman  21:35
I can, yes, but before I do, you should know that on the second attempt I was able to get to the appeal page

Dave O’Gorman  21:35
(Without my $4 discount)

Freya  21:35
Yes I have seen the screenshot you provided a while ago

Freya  21:36
Okay I understand.

Dave O’Gorman  21:36
Okay, I pasted that link in the browser. It shows two copies of each of the two items I was trying to buy.

Dave O’Gorman  21:37
The order number is the same on all four lines

Dave O’Gorman  21:37
Would you like a screen capture of that?

Freya  21:37
Yes please.

Dave O’Gorman  21:38


Freya  21:38
Thank you very much for that screenshot.

Dave O’Gorman  21:38
Okay

Freya  21:39
Would you like to submit the appeal so you can make payments?

Freya  21:39
I can provide you some tips for the documents they needed for the appeal.

Dave O’Gorman  21:39
I think I already got those tips from a prior associate.

Dave O’Gorman  21:40
But there is no bank statement to photograph

Freya  21:40
Oh okay I got it.

Dave O’Gorman  21:40
Both because I don't use paper statements, and because this is my first time trying to use AliExpress

Freya  21:40
Okay as for that, sincde you have said that it is your first time to purchase.

Dave O’Gorman 21:40
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:40
Do I use that page, the one with the upload options, or do I click the red "Want to Appeal" button on the other page?

Freya  21:41
Kindly just leave a message in the message box regarding that, and you have no payment made yet.

Dave O’Gorman 21:41
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:41
The message should be that there is no bank statement for the reasons stated above

Dave O’Gorman  21:41
Are you suggesting that I take the photographs and upload them now, while we are connected?

Freya  21:42
Yes it is correct, that this will be your first purchase in AliExpress.

Dave O’Gorman  21:43
Do you want me to do that now, while we are connected?

Dave O’Gorman  21:43
Will that expedite things at all?

Freya  21:43
Yes if you will be able to submit one now.

Dave O’Gorman  21:43
Stand by

Freya  21:43
Yes I can request for your appeal to be expedited for you. :)

Freya  21:43
Okay I will, please take your time.

Dave O’Gorman  21:44
Looking for my phone....

Dave O’Gorman  21:45
Connecting the phone to the laptop....

Dave O’Gorman  21:46
...Copying the photos from the phone....

Freya  21:46
Okay that will be great!

Dave O’Gorman  21:46
...Stand by....

Freya  21:47
I will, no worries. ;)

Dave O’Gorman 21:47
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:47
The upload button is greyed -- I can't click it. Presumably because there is no bank statement?

Freya  21:48
Kindly just submit a copy of the bank statement showing the bank logo and bank name as well the first 6 and last 4 digits of the card number.

Dave O’Gorman 21:48
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:48
I don't have a bank statement because I do all my banking on-line.

Dave O’Gorman  21:48
Doesn't everyone?

Dave O’Gorman  21:49
I can log in to my bank's online banking page, and take a screen capture

Freya  21:49
Oh that will do, as long as the bank name is showing.

Dave O’Gorman  21:50
Okay, stand by

Freya  21:50
I will, than kyou.

Dave O’Gorman  21:51
Stand by...

Freya  21:52
I will. :)

Dave O’Gorman  21:52
I'm just writing that from time to time to prevent disconnection

Dave O’Gorman  21:53
Stand by

Freya  21:53
Yes, and thanks for that. So we can keep the chat active.

Dave O’Gorman  21:54
Okay, my online banking center doesn't display the full credit card number -- stand by

Dave O’Gorman  21:55
Okay, I got a .pdf of a previous statement for the credit card -- stand by

Freya  21:55
Oh kindly try to use a different file.

Freya  21:55
You will not be able to submit if it is pdf.

Dave O’Gorman 21:55
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  21:56
I can take a screen capture, but I'm trying to figure out how to get....

Dave O’Gorman  21:56
...the bank logo and the credit card number on the screen at the same time

Dave O’Gorman  21:58
Okay, submitted....

Freya  21:58
Perfect! let me check it here in the system.

Dave O’Gorman  21:59
The submit button turned red but nothing else has happened so far.

Freya  22:00
So it was not submitted yet?

Dave O’Gorman  22:00
It says "Error: The system is busy, Please try again later."

Freya  22:01
Oh, okay. In that case you can send the documents to security@aliexpress.com

Freya  22:01
Please note that the email topic should be "Verification for Your Order on Aliexpress"

Dave O’Gorman  22:02
Wait -- I'm sending a photgraph of my passport, and a photograph of a credit card, via email?

Freya  22:02
Yes, that is the email of our verification team.

Dave O’Gorman  22:02
I'm not sure that email is a secure enough platform to feel comfortable doing that.

Dave O’Gorman  22:03
Stand by

Freya  22:03
Did the previous representative told you that you can cover some information in the documents?

Dave O’Gorman  22:04
No

Freya  22:04
On the picture of ID, the name should be shown.

Dave O’Gorman  22:04
Okay

Dave O’Gorman  22:04
And on the credit card

Freya  22:05
On the picture of cards and bank statement, the following information should be shown: bank logo, bank name, the first six and last four card number.

Freya  22:05
Only the first 6 and last 4 is needed in the card.

Dave O’Gorman 22:05
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:05
That's going to take way too much time, I think

Dave O’Gorman  22:05
Not in general, of course, but too much time to carry out while we're connected

Freya  22:06
Yes but by covering it, you will be much more secured.

Dave O’Gorman  22:06
This is ehxausting

Dave O’Gorman 22:06
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:07
Do I have other options, aside from canceling Christmas for my kids?

Dave O’Gorman  22:07
If I tried to pay via Western Union, would the same thing happen?

Freya  22:07
Another possible solution would be using another card or different payment method so you won't have this kind of inconvenience again.

Dave O’Gorman  22:07
I tried another card -- the same thing happened

Freya  22:07
Oh paying using Western Union or Bank Transfer does not go to security system check like for the cards.

Dave O’Gorman  22:07
It's because I'm a US citizen living in Cambodia

Dave O’Gorman  22:08
Do you know the fee structures in those two cases?

Freya  22:08
As for the order, there will no extra fee, but for transferring the money the bank or western union does have a charge.

Dave O’Gorman  22:09
I appreciate that you are trying to help, but this has been *extremely* upsetting.

Dave O’Gorman 22:10
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:10
I just don't know how else to put it. We're two hours into this, and now I'm taking another photograph of my passport

Dave O’Gorman  22:10
and my credit card

Freya  22:10
If there is any inconvenience caused by this program, please accept our sincere apology.

Dave O’Gorman  22:10
And the "appeal" (I still find that word offensive) hasn't even started yet

Dave O’Gorman  22:11
And that's something you need to document: It's not okay to call this process an "appeal"

Dave O’Gorman  22:11
I am not trying to do anything wrong

Dave O’Gorman  22:11
It has the tone of, "If you do these things, *maybe* we will let you give us your money."

Dave O’Gorman  22:11
We'll think about it

Freya  22:11
I understand how upset you are right now.

Dave O’Gorman 22:11
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:12
Are you able to tell me what the fees are, if I pay by western union or by bank transfer?

Freya  22:13
As for the exact fee, we do not have the information as to how much they will charge.

Dave O’Gorman  22:14
I guess I'm taking another photograph of my passport, then

Dave O’Gorman  22:14
And another photograph of my credit card

Dave O’Gorman  22:14
And then emailing them to someone

Dave O’Gorman  22:14
And then, I guess, I'm waiting to find out whether I'll be allowed to spend money with this company

Dave O’Gorman  22:14
And then, when I get the news that I am allowed to spend money with this company,

Freya  22:14
I can assure you that this documents that you will submit is safe and secured.

Dave O’Gorman  22:14
I guess I'll be starting all over again with the order for a third time, when this is all settled

Dave O’Gorman  22:15
It's not secure between my end and yours -- email is never secure in transit

Freya  22:15
Once you submitted it via email, just provide us with the screenshot of the email and we will expedite it for you.

Freya  22:16
Please note that the subject title is "Verification for Your Order on Aliexpress"

Dave O’Gorman  22:16
which numbers on the credit card, again? First six and last four?

Freya  22:16
Yes only the first 6 and last 4.

Dave O’Gorman 22:17
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:17
Okay, I'm trying to figure out how to cover up my birthday and my passport number in the photograph

Freya  22:18
If you already uploaded it in the pc, you can edit it by using paint and cover those information.

Dave O’Gorman  22:18
True

Dave O’Gorman  22:18
Good thinking

Freya  22:19
Thank you for your very kind understanding.

Dave O’Gorman  22:19
Stand by....

Freya  22:20
I will, thank you.

Dave O’Gorman 22:21
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:21
Okay, so I'm emailing the credit card photo with the redacted number and the passport photo with the redacted info

Dave O’Gorman  22:21
just remind me of the address and the subject line please

Dave O’Gorman  22:21
so I don't have to scroll up

Freya  22:21
The subject title is "Verification for Your Order on Aliexpress" and the address is security@aliexpress.com

Dave O’Gorman  22:22
Do you need the order number in the body of the email?

Freya  22:22
Yes you include the order numbers you have.

Dave O’Gorman  22:23
There's only one order number but there are two items

Dave O’Gorman 22:23
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:23
Listen, I need you to do me one really big favor when this is all over

Freya  22:24
Yes please tell me.

Dave O’Gorman  22:24
Can you *please* put in a trouble ticket about the character-limit on chats?

Dave O’Gorman  22:24
I'd be 50% less frustrated right now if I could communicate

Freya  22:24
Oh I understand, I will definetely do that.

Dave O’Gorman  22:24
I was trying, just now, to ask this question:

Dave O’Gorman  22:24
Do you also need me to note,

Dave O’Gorman  22:24
in the body of the email,

Dave O’Gorman  22:25
that the attached bank statement,

Dave O’Gorman  22:25
does not include a prior transaction,

Dave O’Gorman  22:25
with Ali Express,

Dave O’Gorman  22:25
because this is my first transaction?

Freya  22:25
Oh yes please do put it as well.

Dave O’Gorman  22:25
(That's a little bit sarcastic, the way I wrote it just now -- but would you have found it verbose?)

Dave O’Gorman  22:25
(As a single blurb of chat?)

Freya  22:26
Oh I do not, pelase do not worry.

Dave O’Gorman  22:27
Okay, stand by: I forgot to redact the bank statement

Freya  22:27
No worries, I will.

Freya  22:27
I do thank you for your very kind understanding and patience on this.

Dave O’Gorman  22:29
You should be in the next apartment right now before you describe it as patient. :-)

Dave O’Gorman  22:29
Those poor people. :-)

Freya  22:30
Sorry about that, I do not mean patient, but patience. :)

Dave O’Gorman  22:30
Okay, I sent the email.

Dave O’Gorman  22:30
Now you want a screen capture of the email, yes?

Freya  22:30
Thanks, yes please.

Freya  22:30
I will immediately send a request to expedite your appeal right now.

Dave O’Gorman  22:30
Stand by

Freya  22:31
I will.

Freya  20:20
Okay, I will send an order list pop-up to you.

Freya  20:20
To better solve your issue, kindly select your relevant order.
Please search for this order on the list and submit.

Freya  20:20
I had closed the order selector.

Dave O’Gorman  22:32

Dave O’Gorman  22:32
I don't know what that order-selector stuff was all about -- I gues I clicked the wrong icon

Dave O’Gorman  22:32
Did you get the screen capture?

Freya  22:32
Thank you so much for that, can you please provide me your AliExpress registered email?

Dave O’Gorman  22:33
Is that in reference to my screen capture?

Dave O’Gorman  22:33
The email I want to use for purchases through AliExpress, right?

Dave O’Gorman  22:34
Are we still connected?

Freya  22:34
Yes the email of your AliExpress account.

Freya  22:34
Yes I am connected.

Dave O’Gorman  22:34
cinemademocratica@gmail.com

Freya  22:35
Thank you so much.

Freya  22:35
Please do not worry, you can receive an email notification regarding the status of your appeal within 1 working day.

Dave O’Gorman  22:35
Is the email I'd like to use for AliExpress, and the address from which I sent the appeal documentation

Dave O’Gorman 22:35
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:35
Okay, but what happens to my oder? Do I have to start over filling it from the beginning?

Freya  22:35
Yes, once the appeal was verified you will be notified through that email you gave me.

Dave O’Gorman  22:36
Will that order be saved, somehow?

Freya  22:37
You will be able to pay this order that you have.

Freya  22:37
Yes that order is still in My Order page.

Dave O’Gorman  22:37
And I should find that out via email?

Freya  22:37
It will be in the awaiting for payment.

Dave O’Gorman  22:37
Okay

Dave O’Gorman  22:37
So we can both go to sleep now?

Freya  22:38
Yes, you will be able to sleep now, thank you so much and sorry for taking so much of your time for this.

Dave O’Gorman  22:38
I have one more question

Freya  22:38
Please do tell me.

Dave O’Gorman 22:38
CHARACTER LIMIT EXCEEDED: MESSAGE NOT SENT

Dave O’Gorman  22:38
You notice that I wrote "Verification of Your Order on AliExpress" in my subject line

Dave O’Gorman  22:38
It only occurs to me now that when you wrote "Your," you intended me to switch it to "My"

Dave O’Gorman  22:39
So that I should have written, "Verification of My Order on AliExpress"

Freya  22:39
Oh that is what our verification team told us if the appeal will be sent through email.

Dave O’Gorman  22:39
So it's correct the way I wrote it?

Freya  22:40
Yes, it is correct. :)

Dave O’Gorman  22:40
Okay. I will end the chat now. Good-night.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Why Irma Scares the Hell Out of Me (...And Probably Should Scare You Too)

Until very recently I lived in Gainesville, Florida. For eighteen years, from the summer of 1999, I called that bucolic and indefatigably smarty-farty little burg my home, and the best part is that I'd had no particular exigency for moving there in the first place: I visited for a pair of (mercifully unsuccessful) job interviews in '97 and '98, liked the place, and ... well ... just moved there. It was home for me until the first of August when I relocated to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. None of which is the topic of today's column. The topic of today's column is that I want very, very much for my friends and loved ones still living in the Sunshine State to be very, very, very afraid of Hurricane Irma. Moreso than at least some of them are. This column is an open letter to them, crafted with love but backed with the deepest and most shamelessly melodramatic of concern. My case for worry has four basic points.

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