Sometimes they are few and far between. My boss is a great boss, but he is stingy with the compliments. However, when he does give them, I know he means it because it is not something he does on a regular basis.
There are two schoolteachers I had. One was very nice, everyone loved her, and she made an effort to compliment every one of her students. It was okay. She complimented everyone, so although it was nice, it wasn't special. Another teacher I had in high school was gruff, curmudgeonly (personally he was one of my favorite teachers), but when he gave out one of his very rare compliments, you felt like you had earned it and it left you glowing.
I think I prefer the rare compliments.
Oh, and by the way (off topic here), my daughter is going to make sure I stroke out soon.