Joey (construction) - Taught me about life in construction. Some of the best times I've ever had at a job. How to think on my feet. Confront problems when they happen, not let them fester and carry bad feelings around like a whiney 3 year old. He also helped me overcome my hesitation to run around on (very) high places (literally). I almost died a few times but it was worth it. 2 years.
Bobby (engineering firm) - My second dad. After my real father passed away, Bobby was the voice of calm, reason, wisdom and humor that kept me going in the right direction. He was the one who convinced me in ten minutes to get into college. Even after many others had tried for months or years. He pointed me to the goal line and encouraged me. 10 years.
Everett (shipyard) - Patience. Reason. Understanding. No excuses. Not big on small talk, but he didn't need to be either. Those early years at the yard could have been horrifically bad, but thanks to him it wasn't. He didn't shield me from bad people, he just pointed them out so I knew where the land mines were. 3 years.
Paul (engineering firm) - Laisse Faire management. Trust. Basically a style that said "you're a big boy, you can do your job and I'll back you up if you convince me you know what you're doing". That was how I accomplished my first AD migration project. My first SMS project. My first WSUS project. My first virtualization project. My first web/AD integration project. And of course: my appreciation for Starbucks. 5 years.
Steve (IT services) - Straightforward. No bullshit. No hidden agendas. No favorites. No attitudes. What you see is what you get. And all of it based on a driven, eager vision of making things better. Always make things better. And nudge everyone around you to do better as well. All of that and still a nice person, which is a rare combination. 2 years.
Tim (delivery) - "I don't give a crap how you do your job as long as it gets done correctly, on time, and nobody gets hurt". "If you break rules, I will back you up as best as I can, BUT… I'm not going to jail for your ass either." One of the most fun jobs I ever had actually. 1 year.
These people have played a huge part in my life, and by direct correlation: the lives of my family, friends (ok, all three of them), and everyone I meet. If you're lucky enough to work for them, or with them, or have in the past, you are/were indeed fortunate. You may not realize it now, but eventually you will understand what good people they are.