By Lindsey Robertson, Mashable.com, July 21, 2015 – Sam Samsonov was a tollbooth worker for the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority in Florida for more than 30 years. But Sam was recently forced out of his position when he covered a driver’s $5.50 toll — and locals are not happy about it.
Apparently Sam realized that he had undercharged a driver, and attempted to make up the difference with cash from his own pocket. Unfortunately, Sam’s actions were caught on camera, and were frowned upon by the GIBA. He was given an ultimatum to work fewer shifts per week, or be fired.
I am Sam’s daughter and would like to thank you all for your kind words. Please know that the only thing upsetting him about this is that he will no longer see all of your familiar faces each day. I called him this morning to read your comments to him and he was tearing up. The family has been trying to convince him to retire and he had finally agreed to cut back his hours to 3 days a week, which was to start in August. Also know that he was not immediately fired, but was given the option to give two weeks notice and then he would get his vacation paid out after he worked the two weeks or to be reduced to two days a week. He is a proud man and let them know that if he could not be trusted to work full time, he did not understand why they would trust him to work two days a week. He then informed them he would not choose either option, which led to his termination.
Samsonov’s daughter said that her father would frequently pay for driver’s tolls out of his own pocket, which would often get him into trouble, even though his intentions were generous.
Sam stands by his actions. “In my eyes, there was no crime committed, I just helped someone out,” he told NBC2.