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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

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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.

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