Although I enjoy telling a long story, some Callemonit situations need only a few paragraphs to become perfectly clear.  I refer to them as Callemonit Shorts.

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Birthday Bummer

Birthdays have always held a special place in your heart. Since you were a kid, you fondly recall how your parents made a big deal about commemorating the day when their wonderful little package was delivered. And even as an adult, you look forward to that one time a year as much as any other celebration, maybe even more so.

And because you were always made to feel special on your birthday, recognizing your friends and loved ones on their birthdays has been something you’ve done gladly, sort of paying forward the joyful experience.

So as luck would have it, your best girlfriend from college also loved birthdays growing up and was eagerly willing to continue the annual tradition with you. All through your twenties, you both went above and beyond to make the day memorable. The birthday girl would get showered with balloons, presents, cake, and a heartfelt card. Then you two would hit the town and dance the night away.

Now, you’re reaching a milestone, turning “The Big 3-0.” It’s been more than a decade that you and your “bff” have been interrupting the daily grind and making each other’s birthdays unforgettable.

Nine months ago, your girlfriend reached the end of her third decade. Since then, you have been anxiously awaiting your turn to be recognized. And if the fun you had on her 30th is any indication, your birthday will be worth the wait.

Finally, the big day arrived…and…well…nothing. Of course, your grandparents and siblings sent cards in the mail, and there was a delivery of flowers in front of your apartment door from your parents, but not a word from your best friend.

That day drug on forever, no last minute limousine to take you to the club, no skywriting of your name with a heart, not even pin the tail on the donkey.

The following morning, she sent you an instant message on social media, “OMG! I totally missed your birthday. I’m so sorry! Hope it was a great day! We’ll have to get together sometime. Love ya!”

Is this even a Callemonit? If your feelings get hurt, and you’re made to feel stressed, I usually say, “Absolutely.” That’s the time for Callemonit. However, sometimes high expectations are met with disappointment. Life has a strange way of trying to make our skin thicker.

The real question is, will you be able to act normally around your closest friend when you do eventually get together, without there being awkward tension or feeling of resentment? Would Callemonit allow you to express your true feelings, so there doesn’t become a lingering strain on the relationship?

Share your thoughts about her dilemma. And has this ever happened to you? Someone important in your life really caught you off guard by actually forgetting your birthday. Was it a friend like the story, a parent, or possibly even a spouse? Did you Callemonit? Did it help?

Perpetual Potty Mouth

Your buddy lives nextdoor to you. Awesome right? Uhh…usually…more like, it’s pretty cool and convenient…but with an ever growing concern. Ok, so what’s the problem?

To begin with, he works in construction, and does very well might I add. He knows more about building and fixing stuff than Wikipedia, and he never hesitates to help me with home projects. He grew up in a house full of manual laborers and mechanics. His father still swings a hammer at 65, and his three brothers regularly join him on the company job site. All five men make a prideful living with their hands.

Unfortunately, coming from a family rich in the tradition of masculine know how, and being around manly men all day, it’s not surprising he’s been exposed to a significant amount of foul language in his time. Shop talk without filters is commonplace in his line of work, and he’s a willing participant in the choice of vocabulary. So it’s equally less of a shock when he uses the same vernacular both on and off the clock. But from my perspective, it’s become a habit that’s better left at work, or at least not exercised when children are in earshot.

Ok, got it. Here’s your Callemonit predicament. It’s not that your pal uses bad words. It’s that he simply can’t control the where and when it’s acceptable. Basically, your neighbor and close friend has a potty mouth, and your kids hear it. Maybe when they were infants or toddlers, you could dismiss his behavior. They didn’t even know what he was saying, but lately it’s become cringe worthy.

Exactly. When we’re in the driveway talking about engines while the youngsters are jumping rope nearby, and when he stops over for the big game and the tv is in the family room, and even when he’s barbecuing on his own back deck which is thirty feet from my grill and dinner table, the cussing is clear as a bell.

On multiple occasions, I stop him in mid stream. I caution, “Dude, language, the kids.” He always has the same reaction, putting his head down and shrugging his shoulders replying, “Oops! Sorry Dude. Gotcha!” But the disappointing reality is, he doesn’t “Got me.” Just five minutes later, and he’s back to using colorfully inappropriate adjectives.

It’s gotten to the point where my son uses an expletive when he gets soap in his eyes on bath night, or my daughter shouts a profanity when we’re out of her favorite breakfast cereal. I don’t even have to ask where they heard it.

Understandably, you and your wife have had enough and need to take action. But it’s a tough Callemonit.  Your neighbor is your friend, but it seems he doesn’t have the self discipline to curb his cursing. And you feel you have a responsibility as a father to limit your children’s exposure.

So, how do you enact this Callemonit? Does your wife appeal to his wife? Do you threaten to end your friendship? Navigating the perfect neighbor relation is often a slippery slope, plus people tend to put different weight on the acceptability of cussing.

Don’t Discount Us

Growing up, not all the giant box stores were worldwide, even nationwide. But as years have passed and since progress is inevitable, small chains and mom & pops have been forced to close up shop. You name it, from food to furniture, nails to nylons, when it comes to the retail sector, bigger is better. Buying power affords more selection and cheaper prices. Competition is ruthless.

And like a carnival caravan to kids, you always see them coming. First, there’s an old factory or farmhouse sitting quietly on acres of ghost land, concealing generations of sweat and tears. Then there’s a sale sign. And next come wrecking balls and bulldozers. Sometimes dynamite is required. And from the ashes rise the monstrosities we frequent every day.

Am I longing for the days when entrances had a doorknob or a bell to alert a lone employee? Undoubtedly these are fond memories, but realistically, I can’t deny the convenience of big parking lots, climate control, and one-stop-shopping. So if I admittedly appreciate the multi billion dollar retailers, what’s the problem?

Ok, here’s the Callemonit plight. What do you do when these stores have 50 checkout lanes but only 2 open, both of which are filled with overflowing carts. And likewise, the self checkout is log jammed with customers spilling into the snack food aisle? How convenient?

Honestly, have you ever found yourself stuck in a ridiculously long line, wondering, where are all the workers? Can’t someone open another lane? These companies make so much money, why not spend some on guaranteeing that a ten minute trip for hot dog rolls doesn’t take a half hour?

The unnecessary delay usually causes stress. You’d much rather be somewhere else. You have an appointment to meet, the baby is fussing, you still have to get dinner ready, your favorite dance show is on, or you’re simply tired of being on your feet all day.

Do you just deal with it like sheep in a cattle shoot? Or is there a Callemonit resolution? Maybe you can find a head cashier or manager, or make a phone call to a complaint line, or possibly send a detailed email to the corporate office? Crazy, but without Callemonit, will things change? What do you suggest?

Dumbfounded At The Deli

You live in a neighborhood with at least three supermarkets to choose from. Still, you always go to the same one. Their regular prices are usually lower, and they always have sales on the foods your family likes.

But then there’s the in store deli. It’s always busy, and the wait is a minimum of fifteen minutes. And when it’s finally your turn, you always get the miserable employee. He or she is a paid deli worker. The job requirement is to slice meats and cheeses to the specifications of the customer. But, when you tell them more than a pound, they make a face. And when you ask them to slice everything thin, they make another face. It’s as if you are inconveniencing them. And to make matters worse, when they do hold a slice up for your approval, guaranteed when you get home, only part of the order is sliced the way you agreed. The bologna is so thick, you might as well fry it.

Do you go through the same deli disappointment? Do you Callemonit? To who? The deli clerk or management?

Delivery Disrespect

You aren’t one to order things online. You like to go to the store and see what you’re paying for. Whether it’s a bra or an end table, you prefer to actually try it on or inspect it for flaws. But lately, it seems like manufacturers are pushing the online sales more than ever. They give better deals through their websites than at the brick and mortar locations. It’s becoming the way of the future, and you have been slowly joining the trend. But is the boom in online sales becoming more than the delivery companies can handle?

When you pull in your driveway after a long day at work, you are excited to see a package at your front door. It’s the new curtains you agonized over picking, or the shoes you wanted to wear at the upcoming wedding. But upon closer inspection, the package looks like it’s gotten run over by a truck, possibly the very same delivery truck. And sometimes the product itself is damaged. How did this happen? You can only assume that a package leaves the manufacturer in good condition.  What occurred on the way to your house?

The manufacturer is always apologetic, and they usually do whatever it takes to make you happy. But in regards to the delivery company, don’t they realize the unnecessary aggravation they put you through?  Maybe they figure you have no other choice?

Is this an opportunity for Callemonit? How would you confront this problem?

The Designated Drunk

You and your buddies try to be socially responsible, specifically when it comes to partying.  Every Friday night, you take turns designating a driver.  There’s four of you in your group.   So basically, once a month, you will pick up the other three guys at their homes and drive them to the bar.  Everyone wants to get the weekend off to a quick start, so making it to happy hour is the objective.  Getting there early also gives the designated driver an opportunity to have a couple drinks, stop by 8-8:30, and still have plenty of time to be able to drive home safely.

But here’s the problem, your one buddy never abides by the rules.  When it’s his turn,  he always pushes the stopping time to 10-10:30, sometimes even later.  And since you and your other two friends aren’t the designated driver, none of you are capable of getting behind the wheel.  As a result, you end up calling a taxi or ridesharing company.  This is money you didn’t want to spend.

To make matters worse, the next day when you drive your buddy to the bar to pick up his car, he always pleads his case that he was fine to drive, but nobody would listen to him.

Do you have an irresponsible party friend?  Is the selfish behavior becoming annoying?  What’s your Callemonit approach?

Cubicle Crasher

You are fresh out of college. You’re grades are decent, but not good enough to land a job with an office. You have to start at the bottom, and you’re ok with it. You just want a position in the career field of your major, with a company that has room to grow.

It takes most of the summer and multiple interviews, but you finally get hired. Your home for the foreseeable future is a 4’x5’ cubicle in a sea of the same. But again, you are ok with it. You realize you have to put your time in. You’re mostly thrilled just to be employed.

For the first week, another employee is training you. His cubicle is directly in front of yours, connected. He brings his rolling chair over to your desk. He teaches you the system on your computer. Just one week is all it takes to bring you up to speed.

But here’s the dilemma. This guy who trained you is constantly crashing your cubicle, like an uninvited party guest. He leans over the cubicle wall to talk about last night’s game or the new girl down the aisle. He rolls his chair over during breaks, and at lunchtime he eats at your desk. He usually gets something smelly from the food truck outside and puts the trash in your can. He’s always borrowing a pen or a stapler, and he never returns them. You have to get up and search through his mess of a desk to retrieve your supplies. Worst of all, you have been staying later and later to catch up on work, while he leaves right on time.

Are you ever going to be rid of this intruder? Does the boss see what’s happening and think you are just as guilty of slacking? Will you be stuck in that cubicle forever? How do you Callemonit?


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