1. Airplane pilots
Oooo the rush! I love the rumble of the engines as we taxi to the runway, the subtle bouncing and jostling in our seats as our tires leave the tarmac and the surge of power and speed as the massive testament to modern engineering takes flight. I have huge respect and admiration for the folks who fundamentally allow our economies to be global by piloting jets around the world.
Earlier this year I had quite a few work flights back to back and felt awash with gratitude at the smooth take offs, the calm assurance as the plane and our stomachs lifted during turbulence, and the bevy of knowledge I can imagine it takes to operate a JUMBO. Furthermore, I love travel and would have much more limited options if it weren't for these brave and competent folks.
2. IT support/help-desk
Oh, the agony of the blue-screen-of-death. Nothing is worse than a bustling work day being brought to a halt by a technological issue. I see desktop support technicians as the glue keeping it all together. I also feel they are some of the most under-rated individuals and departments in most companies. Oh, you needed your sound and visual equipment to function flawlessly during that presentation to 300 employees and your IT folks set it up with nary a beep and fixed any bumps in less than thirty seconds with a nod and a shrug? Yes, I'm sure they did - because IT people are awesome and we should thank them and give their departments enough funding to keep the infrastructure running smoothly. No dollar would be wasted on better tech. Huge thank you to any help-desk support technician who has had to crawl underneath a desk to plug in your user's computer to "fix" it.
Some of my most favorite people I've never met are application developers, seriously. I've gotten so much time back from people who saw a problem and decided to write some code to fix it. Case in point, Onenote. It's magical. I can have a brilliant idea and want to come back to it later, so what do I do? I just grab my phone or laptop, open the app, jot it in - and voila - it's saved for another day.
Need to buy a birthday gift? BAM! - amazon app. Need to check your calendar on the go? BAM! - calendar app. It definitely seems more exciting with the "BAM!"s but you get my point. Thank you app programmers.
I love baristas because a barista worth their salt can turn a bad day into a good one, make a good day great, and, for just the little while you hover at their counter - make it seem like you are a special person in this big, big world. My local barista, Natalie, is a wonder. Her welcoming smile is like a beacon to each bedraggled morning supplicant. On harried work days when an afternoon stimulant is required she is there to bolster with a knowing grin and affable small talk. To all the "Natalie"s out there - thank you.
5. Local Government
City councils, county government, emergency response folks, librarians - the individuals who hold these roles impact how we live every single day. I live in a city with incredible public servants. They embody equality, promote inclusive community, and make efforts to give a voice to every citizen. My local museums are awesome because of them. The county bike trails are amazing. The city's economy is thriving and our town feels safe.To all those who serve local government, thank you!