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Cry-Baby of the Week: A Florida Tollbooth Fired an Operator for Paying a Driver's Fee

Also this week: A woman was arrested for leaving her children unattended while attending a job interview 30 feet away in the same room.

by Jamie Lee Curtis Taete
Jul 24 2015, 4:00am

It's time, once again, to marvel at some idiots who don't know how to handle the world:

Cry-Baby #1: Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority

Screencaps via Google Maps and YouTube

The incident: A tollbooth operator paid someone's toll after realizing he'd undercharged them.

The appropriate response: Nothing.

The actual response: He was fired.

Vladislav "Sam" Samsonov (pictured above) has been working as a tollbooth operator at the Gasparilla Island Bridge in Boca Grande, Florida for 29 years.

According to a report on NBC News, Sam was working the booth last week when he failed to notice that a man driving an SUV was towing a trailer, and charged him as a car, rather than as a car with a trailer.

Once he noticed his mistake, Sam says, he paid the $5 difference in price with his own money. "It was entirely my fault, I wasn't paying attention, Sam told the Boca Beacon. "So I put the money in the drawer."

The next day, the Beacon reports, Sam arrived at work to find a note attached to a copy of a memo that all staff had been sent in February. The memo had been sent to all staff, asking them not to pay customer's tolls. The attached note allegedly read: "This letter is dated Feb. 23, 2015 and I know you saw it, yet on July 3, 2015 you did it again. Why? This letter clearly states the consequences. Please see me."

Sam said that when he spoke with his supervisor, he was told they were going to cut the number of days he works from five to two. When he refused the new hours, he was fired. "If I can't be trusted for five days, how can I be trusted for two days?" said Sam.

Sam told NBC that he would look for more work, but was sad to be leaving his job at the toll. "In my eyes there was no crime committed, I just helped somebody out," he said.

Cry-Baby #2: Houston Police Department

Screencap via Google Maps

The incident: A woman left her children 30 feet away while attending a job interview in a mall food court.

The appropriate response: Nothing.

The actual response: She was arrested.

Earlier this week, 24-year-old mother-of-two Laura Browder (pictured above) was called in for a job interview at the Memorial City Mall in Houston.

As she was unable to organize a babysitter, Laura took her two children–a six-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy–along to the job interview with her.

Speaking to Houston's KHOU, Laura said that she bought her children some food from McDonald's and sat them at a table in the mall's food court. She says that while she had her interview, she was seated 30 feet away at another table in the food court, with both of her children in full view. She was offered the job on the spot.

When Laura returned to her children, she was arrested by an officer from Houston Police Department. Police say they were alerted to Laura's kids because they were crying. She was arrested and charged with abandoning a child with intent to return.

The children were taken to the mall's security office before being released into the custody of Laura's cousin.

Laura was released later that day after appearing in court. Her children are now back in her care. Syracuse.com reports that Child Protective Services are "still in the early stages of their investigation" into the incident.

In a statement, Laura said:

This was very unfortunate this happened. I had a interview with a very great company with lots of career growth. I am a college student and mother of two. I would never put my name, background or children in harms way intentionally. I have a promising future ahead of me regardless of what the media tries to portray me as. A judge released my children to me knowing that I was a good mother who just made a not so smart decision. My children weren't even 30 yards away from me, I fed them and sat there with them until it was time to meet with my interviewer. This too will pass and I am not concerned with outsiders have to say or what they think.

Who here is the bigger cry-baby? Let us know in this poll down here:

Previously: A woman who allegedly pulled a knife on some teens because the wi-fi wasn't working at a Taco Bell vs. some police officers who arrested a guy for charging his phone on a train.

Winner: The phone guys!!!

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