I don't think this is an offer he would have made to anyone who had lost a bike. He had to go out of his way to let me into the storage area and waited after his usual shift for me to return his keys. But he's really nice to me and I think it's because I always make sure to say hi and thank you. That sounds silly, but there are many people who ignore him completely unless they need to complain, sometimes obnoxiously, or ask him to do something. I think he treats me nicely because that's how I treat him. Honestly, I'm nice to him out of habit, it's how I'd treat anyone because everyone deserves to be addressed politely and treated with respect, but this time it saved me big bucks.
I've found that the relationships created by simply being nice to people can be incredibly valuable. From friends and family to neighbors or even telemarketers, politeness might be old fashioned but it works wonders. We've shared tools, meals, and services with our friends and neighbors where others might not and I seem to have better luck with customer service reps over the phone than most people do. A few months back, by coincidence, both my SO's brother Tom and I had to call our banks to get fees refunded. It was just before 4 on a Friday leading into a holiday weekend and Tom was ticked off about the fee letting the rep have it. He was justified in his anger, the fee was big and a mistake, but he didn't get his fee refunded that day; he was told the would look into it and to follow up in two weeks. When I called my bank I chit chatted with the lady on the line, said please and thank you and had my fee refunded and waived in 15 minutes. The lady also upgraded my account at no charge. Tom and I had different banks but I can't help but think attitude played a part.
Have you seen financial rewards through kindness or being nice to people? Do you think old fashioned manners are disappearing?