Sammy Nickalls
July 20, 2015 8:05 am

It can be totally exhausting to drive long distances. . . even more so when you forget to get money out of the ATM to pay tolls at the tollbooth. Tollbooth worker Vladislav Samsonov, who goes by “Sam,” totally understood that, and tried to help out a driver on the Boca Grande Causeway in Florida.

It all started last week, when he realized he charged a trailer driver too little, and decided to pay the remainder of the driver’s toll out of his own pocket. He told NBC2 it was the kind of thing he did on occasion when a driver was short of change. But the higher ups reportedly didn’t agree with Sam’s personal policy of generosity and ultimately gave him the choice of two weeks’ notice plus vacation or an extremely scaled back shift.

Previously, Sam had been asked not to pay for others, but was never formally written up. After this latest incident, he was told he could retire or work two days a week instead of five, which Sam declined. “If I can’t be trusted for five days, how can I be trusted for two days?” Sam told NBC3. Ultimately, Sam was let go from his post, which kind of broke our hearts.

But wait, there’s a bright side to this story. The Internet has been rallying around Sam in a majorly unprecedented way.

There are so many people who adore Sam, and they have been taking to social media to share their appreciation for his 30 years of hard work. Many have been leaving negative reviews on the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority Facebook page, expressing their outrage that a good employee has been let go for an act of kindness.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people are flooding the Boca Beacon Facebook page, where Sam’s daughter, Patricia Samsonov Gillis‎, posted the story, to reflect on Sam’s kindness through the years.

In response to the warm messages, Gillis thanked everyone and wrote, “the only thing upsetting him about this is that he will no longer see all of your familiar faces each day.” She also noted that all the comments made Sam tear up. The outpouring of love showed him that his work hasn’t gone unnoticed. And there’s another a silver lining to this whole thing. “The family has been trying to convince him to retire…his only regret is no longer being able to interact with each of you,” Gillis continued, adding that Sam plans to volunteer at a local hospital now that he’s got the free time. 

There’s no doubt, he’ll make a huge impact there, just as he had for all those years working the tollbooth.

(Images via Facebook)

Related:

Fast food worker’s act of kindness goes above and beyond

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