No one likes having to pay toll, but people driving on the Boca Grande Highway say they would feel better about it if Sam Samsonov was working the booth.
The beloved toll collector had been collecting tolls at the Gasparilla Island Bridge in Boca Grande for nearly three decades, and is known to have treats on hand for dogs, and lollipops for the kids. But he was fired unjustly for paying someone else’s toll, The Huffington Post reports.
Samsonov said he was fired last week after “accidentally undercharging a driver and paying the difference out of his own pocket.”
“After 29 years, you can’t help it. I gave children suckers 20 years ago, I’m giving those children suckers for their children,” he told NBC-2 in the video below.
The firing has upset many in the community, who have taken the issue to social media and have launched a Facebook page to show their support for their beloved toll taker, hoping that the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority reinstate Samsonov.
“It’s not everyday that people like a toll collector so much they have their own photos of him to share, but that has been the case with Samsonov,” the report say.
What do you think? Did Samsonov break the rules by paying someone else’s toll with his own money? Please share your feelings in the comments section below.
H/T: The Huffington Post