Getting to know the young folk that run a delicatessan business near my old office was exciting and inspirational. I knew there were east europeans who had taken over a funny little shoe repair shop. Although I was not involved in the management of my job, being just a tiny cog in an enormous wheel, I did need to know everything about the immediate area where we worked, for security and logistics purposes. The friendly young folk at the deli were always helpful, respectful and willing to do favours and they made sure they knew all their neighbouring businesses and the contact/key holders for each one.
When a nearby greengrocer had burst pipes and was flooded out, these young folk didn’t hesitate to rush in and offer help. They seemed to know all the emergency routine – ring the insurer, get the fire brigade in, find out where the keyholder etc. They even helped the shop by selling fruit and veg from the flood shop in their own premises so it wouldn’t have to be spoiled. Network services indeed!