To be fair, the vast majority of the lock attendants were helpful, patient, knowledgeable. Did I say patient? Most of them have the patience of Job from Biblical times. After seeing what they had to deal with from some boaters, it's hard to believe anyone would work there!
On the other hand, for many unskilled boaters, going through the locks is very traumatic.
At the end of a busy weekend as we returned to the lake, we'd give the lock attendants a ziplock bag of fresh chocolate chip cookies we'd baked onboard.
That was always a big hit with them.
Over the years we had our boat in Lake Washington
, we transited the locks so many times, it seemed like commuting. One time I was passing Shilshole Marina on the way out to Puget Sound
and said to my wife, "What do you know? We're already through the locks!" I hadn't even noticed.