I was on the way to see a good buddy in Leicester, North Carolina when I saw a marque outside of the local Qwikstop gas station. The marque had been changed to say, "Linda Johnson writes bad checks and owes us 62 dollars." Naturally, I wanted to pull off and take a snap of it but there was a beat up Ford on my tail that was in no mood for me and my Canon 6d.
Who is this Linda Johnson anyway and why would she do the Qwikstop like that? Is she a mother who needed to get some bread and a tank of gas to get her kids to school? Is she a professional in one of the few million dollar homes in Leicester who had forgotten her weekly transfer from her money market account to her "spending money" account? Is she some meth head?
Driving on down the valley I thought about how impolite it was for the Qwikstop to air Linda's dirty laundry like that. But, the fact remains that Linda robbed the Qwikstop. In a small rural town like Leicester, everyone is sure to know Linda. I can image her walking into the little church off of Browntown road this Sunday. All 62 members of the congregation will welcome her and then whisper down the pew, "Did y'all see the Qwiky sign? Hope she puts cash in the offering plate."
Individuals will occasionally do businesses wrong and, in this case, may be publicly shunned for it. But, more often than not, it is the individual who is wronged by business.
Within an hour of being exposed to Linda Johnson's checking habits, I saw some boys fighting their own battle. In the middle of a somewhat abandoned Ashley Furniture parking lot (Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC) was Dirk Helming and the lads. Hundreds of cars were passing by as they usually do in this location next to both the mall and Best Buy. And here it was again... a public shaming. The airing of transaction gone wrong. In Dirk's case, it was the individual who was bent over the bad end of the bargain.
According to Dirk, he had purchased two couches from Ashley Furniture Company that were, upon delivery, defective. Instead of replacing the couches, Ashley Furniture had frequently sent employees to make repairs as needed on the couches instead of returning Dirk's hard earned cash or supplying a replacement item (Who in the heck wants to have some cats come over to their house and disturb their American Idol to have their couch serviced?).
So, what is Dirk supposed to do? Eat the money? Keep having the lower level goons disturb Duck Dynasty every other week? No, Dirk Helming is no push over. Dirk and his gang of street toughs (see above) decide to go down to the Asheville Furniture and spend their day letting every car, truck and SUV in eyesight know that they got done raw. Apparently Ashley Furniture was none to impressed that their "laundry was out in the sun." Of course, they called the police.
The police, being a representation of the working man, simply asked Dirk and the lads to move to the far end of the parking lot. Being a respectful Christian man, Dirk abided by the law's request and continued his public shaming of Ashley Furniture Company. I wonder if Dirk has gotten a refund yet? Either way, at least he did what he could to take the fight to big business and set an example for his son. Don't be a pushover. Don't roll over and take it. This is America.
As I rolled out of the parking lot to the Best Buy (to price a Canon 430 ex ii flash), I thought of Linda Johnson and wondered if she was going to call the po-po about the Qwikstop sign.
Who Is Andrew Faulk?
Tokyo photographer Andrew Faulk specializes in portrait, editorial, event, and commercial photography assignments. With over a decade of experience living and working in Asia, he works with individuals, families, publications, and corporations to create timeless images under any deadline. His work is frequently featured in a variety of international travel and lifestyle publications. He is a husband, father, and lover of fried food.