The Human Factor


The California fires are causing untold, unfathomable amounts of suffering, hardship, and loss. They're also revealing some stark truths that people - be they customers, business owners, government officials, or average citizens - must confront, assess, and respond to.

When businesses try to increase efficiency, save money, reduce headcount & overhead, they can often lose their "soul" - stripping out humanity can do that to any organization, to any group, to any gathering.

And when the rubber hits the road - or, in this case, when the world erupts in fire - that "lean" infrastructure becomes an impediment that not only costs the business customers & efficiency, it can also increase suffering and loss. Sometimes exponentially.

This is what we're seeing play out in real time: this is where you'll hear stories of compassion alongside stories of insipid stupidity & frustration.

This is how you know you're working with the right companies, or running your business correctly, or in a seriously bad place that needs immediate attention.

T-Mobile is receiving multiple kudos for their responses. Walmart has received a mixed bag of feedback - they've opened their parking lots for the most part, but some folks are getting the feeling that sometimes they're not actually welcome.

Comcast is getting slammed - they've sent messages to customers in Paradise, which is effectively ~gone~ - that their cable services have been reactivated.

...really? FFS, Comcast...

And credit card companies - I don't have specifics yet on which ones - are shutting off cards for "erratic spending patterns" ... great anti-fraud detection, folks, noticing that erratic pattern. And stark, blatantly noticeable and frightfully appalling lack of quality AI (or even 'manual overrides') capable of discerning whether card owners might be in a disaster area and in need of "erratic spending" in order to survive.

This is where, and how, the human factor comes into play. It's not solely the way a company, government entity, or organization interfaces with humanity - it's the humanity that makes up, guides, manages, and intercedes with the operating parameters of those organizations and entities.

The humanity, the heart and soul, of the organizations, the communities, and the people - cooperating, understanding, and empathizing. Building synergies. Helping each other through the hard times.

That's how you can tell if a company is lost, or found. If a government is serving the community, or if an organization serving as a parasite that feeds upon it.

We need more people to be aware of what's going on and how they can help: one way to help is to send folks to Wildfire Redemption ( and to sites like Safe & Well (

We're all one nation. One people.

Act like it. Help where, when, and if you can.

Thank you.

*1* Comcast is aware that folks are having issues trying to reach them: If customers call 1-800-934-6489, select Seasonal Hold or Season Suspend you'll get a live human being who'll help you. (Thanks, Comcast...)

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Message from Comcast:

To help residents and emergency personnel stay connected during this time, we are opening our Xfinity WiFi hotspots in the California Region to anyone who needs them – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, which are located both indoors and outdoors, please visit