Story Archive

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished 2

Vladislav Samsonov, 72, goes by the name Sam. A military veteran, Sam was a toll collector at the Boca Grande (Fla.) Causeway for nearly 30 years, and loved his job. “After 29 years, you can’t help it,” Samsonov said. “I gave children suckers 20 years ago. Now I’m giving those children suckers for their children.” But Sam’s time in the toll booth came to an end after he paid for a shortage of someone’s toll out of his own pocket. Samsonov said he had been asked before not to pay for others, but was never written up. This time, however, the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority offered to drop him down to working two days a week instead of five, but Samsonov declined. “If I can’t be trusted for five days, how can I be trusted for two days?” he asked. So, he was terminated. Several of his regular customers spoke out in support of Sam. “I just want him to know how much we really do care about him and how he will be missed,” Blanche Vedette said. “Makes me feel good,” Sam said. “Makes me want to cry. But bite your tongue and you’ll be OK.” (MS/WBBH Fort Myers) ...Biting your tongue and doing what you’re told doesn’t always lead to real happiness.
Original Publication Date: 26 July 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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