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Florida Toll Collector Is Fired for His Kindness in Helping Drivers

Image: Florida Toll Collector Is Fired for His Kindness in Helping Drivers
Florida toll collector Vladislav "Sam" Samsonov pictured on his daughter's Facebook page.

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 07:19 AM

Florida toll collector Vladislav "Sam" Samsonov says he was fired from his job at the Boca Grande Causeway last week because of kindness, as in paying a toll he accidentally under charged a driver.

Samsonov, a 77-year-old military veteran, said he charged a trailer driver too little the week before and paid the five dollars difference out of his own pocket, reported WBBH-TV.

"In my eyes there was no crime committed, I just helped somebody out," said Samsonov, who had worked as a toll operator for nearly 30 years.

Samsonov said he would make up the difference from time to time for drivers who did not have enough for the toll, to the chagrin of his Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority bosses.

He said he was offered a reduction in the toll booth from five days to two days as a punishment but he declined.

The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority declined to comment on Samsonov's departure, saying it doesn't comment on personnel matters.

Marcy Shortuse, Boca Beacon editor, bemoaned Samsonov's absence, adding that "there has been a flood of responses," in the Boca Grande community about his departure in public and on social media.

"Sam, you were a Gasparilla Island fixture," wrote Shortuse. "…Your lollipops for the kids and dog treats for the dogs are being recollected as we speak, by island residents and by people who have only been here once or twice."

"You represent part of what so many like about Boca Grande – a person can be gone for years, but once they cross that bridge they’re back in the land of familiar faces. It's people like you that we took for granted would always be there in the booth on weekday mornings," Shortuse added.

Samsonov's daughter, Patricia Samsonov Gillis, wrote on Facebook that what her father missing the most is the people he encountered rather than the actual work.

"Please know that the only thing upsetting him about this is that he will no longer see all of your familiar faces each day," wrote Gillis. "I called him this morning to read your comments to him and he was tearing up."

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Florida toll collector Vladislav "Sam" Samsonov says he was fired from his job at the Boca Grande Causeway last week because of kindness, as in paying a toll he accidentally under charged a driver.
florida, toll, collector, fired, kindness
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2015-19-21
Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 07:19 AM
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