This isn’t a new idea, but it is worth repeating. Today I was on the way out for my bus trip, and the trash collection truck was at the dumpster, picking up the trash. I walked by and said, “Thanks for taking our trash”. The guy looked surprised, then he said, “Uh, okay, yeah, thank you!” Obviously he’s not accustomed to being thanked, and that’s a shame. He does a hard, crappy job that most people don’t want to do, for not a great deal of pay, but if he stops doing it, we’ll be up to here in garbage. The guy has an important, albeit, not very sexy job. Thanking him didn’t cost me a cent, didn’t slow me down, didn’t hurt me a bit. But I bet he goes home tonight and says, “Hey, some old guy thanked me today for picking up his trash! How about that?”
So next time you see someone mucking out the storm drains, or shoveling the sidewalk, or mowing the lawn, or any number of things you don’t or can’t or won’t do yourself, thank them. You’ll feel good, and so will they. If that’s not win-win, I don’t know what is.