21 June 2022
Rancho Cordova, Calif. — In California, the past week has been a nightmare for former gas station manager John Szczecina, who said he was fired after he accidentally set gas pumps at 69 cents per gallon instead of $6.99.
Over $24,000 was collected after his family set up a GoFundMe to pay back the money lost due to his error, but the company that owns the gas station said it doesn’t want the funds.
Cars lined up down the block in Rancho Cordova for the 69 cent premium gas last week. But the delight for many was one man’s nightmare.
Szczecina said he was the one responsible for entering gas prices that day and simply got the decimal wrong.
“He says you’re probably going to be sued … and he said if anybody comes to your door and asks for John don’t answer the door because they probably have a subpoena for you.”
Szczecina’s family immediately started a GoFundMe to pay back the $20,000 the gas station lost in the several hours prices were wrong.
In just a few days, over $24,000 was collected.
Over 1,000 people donated, including Darryl Surita, one of the drivers who filled up with the cheap gas. Surita filled up both of his cars and extra tanks for his boat — over 100 gallons in total — before the pump price was corrected.
Now, he’s helping to pay it back.
“I donated $160 to the GoFundMe, and then I posted it on my page and then I told people to share it,” Surita said.
A spokesperson from GoFundMe said, “If the gas station company does refuse the funds, we will require the organizer to post a clear update to keep donors informed” and the $24,000 will be refunded.
“I think he should just keep it, I think he should spend it on living his life until he gets a job because it cost him his job,” Surita said.
Szczecina said he’s simply happy to know good people still exist.
“I’m still in shock, you know, it just makes me feel like there’s good in this world and it’s worth fighting for,” he said.
Szczecina said he hopes the company will accept the money because it would give him peace of mind. He’s currently applying for jobs and hopes something great is on the horizon.
His former employer has not yet responded to a request for comment.