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Pool cue to the back of the head
Black eye

The good news is I got my pool table set up. The bad news is a bunch of drama came along with it, too.

You have to understand - this is the third time the pool table company has come out to try and set up this table. I've taken off three afternoons now from work, and I'm working late every night this week to make up the time.

For the first attempt, they didn't have the right hardware. But that was my fault, I hadn't unpacked some vital parts yet. The second time, they had the hardware, but not the felt. They brought 8 feet... for a 9 foot table. It's been several more weeks waiting for them to get the material (it's regulation green speedcloth, the most standard covering there is - and I'm shocked it took the store a month to get it in).

But the real problem is that the installation crew was a bunch of dickheads.

They were all in their early twenties, which I don't have an issue with. But I was working at home from my computer, which was in the next room from the pool table. The two areas are only separated by a glass wall and a computer desk. So, I could hear every word they said:

"You guys are faggots for liking Spawn. Iron Man 2 is gonna be a much better movie."

"No, you're a faggot 'cause you know the actor's name. Are you gay for him, or what?"

"Both you guys are fags. Give me the hammer..."

It went on like that for about an hour. I tried to type some stuff up, but I just started to seethe. I went upstairs to my bedroom. On my way up the stairs, one guy said, "We're almost done here!"

I said, "Thanks, but don't use the word 'faggot' any more."


I slammed the door to my bedroom. Yes, I was being dramatic, I have to confess. But I was livid. This was my house. MY HOUSE! And I don't allow jerks to come in and be homophobic. You wouldn't go into a black man's house and use the n-word, and you shouldn't go into my home and throw around the word faggot.

I went back downstairs, where only the foreman was waiting, "We're done," he said.

"Good," I said, grabbing a cue and racking up the balls.

"I wanted to show you something here," the foreman said. "This pocket is ripped and the balls could fall out of it."

"Thanks," I replied, slamming the cue ball in a violent break. Two stripes went in. "I'll fix it with some string or wire. How much do I owe you?"

"Two hundred dollars," was the reply.

"Ok," I said, shooting the balls in one at a time. God, I've missed playing pool. "I'll mail in the check."

The foreman paused, "I don't think Rick will like that."

"Oh, don't worry, I said, scratching the cue ball, "I'm *definitely* going to send Rick a letter."

He looked nervous, "Oh."

Without looking up, I said, "You can leave my house now."

The guy left with his tail between his legs.

Ten minutes later, I got a phone call, which I ignored. Ten minutes after that, the foreman was knocking on my front door. Rick wants his money, or maybe to apologize. I ignored that, too.

I'll send in a check. Eventually. The table looks great. But Rick should educate his staff better. Or fire them. I have too much self-respect for myself as a gay man to put up with ignorant bigots working in my house.

If you want someone to come into your house and talk about "faggots" please contact:
Chesapeake Billiards
Ask for Rick

Write the letter or make the phone call now while you're still angry. Tell them the check will be in the mail after you receive an apology -- even though there's no excuse for such language.

Then set an hour aside to come home, relax with a brew and a few solitaire pool games to enjoy your reassembled table.

Thank You Sir. i'm not sure i want an apology. i don't want to hear from any of those guys ever again. i don't care what they think about me. i'm just a little sad that we as gay people have to hear shit like this sometimes.

Glad the table is there. Pissed about the knuckle draggers who invaded your home. I'm with Thor. Demand apologies all around. And cross-post this to a few more blogs.

oh - and the better business bureau - companies LOVE getting letters from them.

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Yelp is currently under a lot of fire over rumors that they can be paid to remove bad reviews. Their objectivity is pretty much shot at this point. Best stick with telling your friends and BBB, Angie's List if you subscribe.


heypyro has it right 100%

I would send the letter, in which would not only be my complaint, but notice that I am writing a NASTY yelp review and contacting the BBB. Spread the word and let them know you are doing it. Are there any Gay based Organizations that would like to follow up on this? Can it be construed as Hate Speech? If so file a complaint with the local DA's office.

Edited at 2010-03-24 03:57 pm (UTC)

I agree with the others - make a really BIG stink
about this.

Those workmen must have somehow picked up on
the fact that you are gay, and decided to be total
assholes about it.

You ought to really draw blood and follow all the suggestions made in the previous posts here.

Definitely contact The Better Business Bureau!

I don't think they knew I was gay. They left pretty quickly when I called them out on it!

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The weak economy is only more reasons these morons should know to shut the fuck up when on site. if you give two shits about your job, you're not going to sabotage yourself, and that is certainy what they did. Further, unless this incident has occurred before, they are more likely to receive a written warning than outright termination. "the times are tough" is no reason to let something like that slide in your own home.

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Sounds like a mess all around.

That said... Is it possible that "Rick" doesn't know his workmen are behaving this way, since he's not out on the jobsite with them?

(And it's a pretty safe bet that when they called in to say "He won't pay us.. said he'd mail it in." there was no mention of their "banter" having offended the customer. It's also a pretty save bet you were painted in the most snotty, unreasonable way possible.)

Definitely, write the letter and call the employees on their behavior. Let him know you were offended. And expect him to both apologize and deal with the situation. But.. he can't fix behavior he doesn't know about.

Not a mess all around. No mess on my part. I'm the consumer, and I can choose who I do business with.

Part of me wishes I would have stopped them half-way through the job when I first heard them talking that way. But hey - I wanted my pool table set up. And they did a pretty good job.

(Deleted comment)
Yup, they probably spoke that way in high school, and thought they could continue speaking that way in the real world. And the truth is they can... but there are consequences.

I would suggest setting the ground rules for your crew the first time you hear "faggot", and not wait till it leaves you seething.

Yes... every time I see a shopkeeper, enter a store, hire a cleaning service, or meet a stranger in public, I'll make sure to say, "Please don't use the word FAGGOT in my presence."

First, good on you for making a point of it. The hardest struggles are the everyday issues, and educating people is the core of it all. From what you wrote, what the workmen said was a lot milder than what was hurled at Rep. Barney Frank recently, and easier to address. When service companies learn that their income is risked by hate speech, the message spreads a lot more effectively than it can through other methods. Even if the workmen don't change their attitudes about gay folk at all, perhaps they'll at least learn that there are consequences to hate speech, and I'd bet money that their boss thinks about it when training new employees. I'd also agree that the time to call the workmen on it was the FIRST time such language was used, not at the end of the job. Hopefully it won't come up again, but unless there's no other qualified service providers, the ideal response is to boot the louts right away, and to let the boss know they got fired for their language on the job. People understand a kick in the wallet a lot faster than any 'principled' angry letters.

The thing I'd be most offended about is being called gay because I liked Spawn.

Fuck did that movie suck. Poor Michael Jai White.

Wow. I'd have to say just wow.

Good on ya for calling this crew out on their behavior. No one should be subjected to such a stream of neanderthal blather like this. It's unprofessional in the highest, reflects completely on the outfit contracted to do the work, and can even create ill feelings after the fact. This "Rick" probably was not aware of what was going on, and now he has to wear the stain caused by what happened.

All the drama aside, that is a beautiful fucking pool table Pat