Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“Write that down, Kaye. Puthoff called me both “skinny” and “smart” in the same week.”
– Wes Goubeaux

Geez, the compliments are flying around here.

Since Jeff Puthoff told Wes he was skinny and smart, might as well throw in that he had a lot of hair. In 1994.

Truth be told, it’s nice to hear a compliment from time to time. You know, like “Nice green shirt, Tony.” And, “Thanks, Brian, you have a nice green shirt on, too!” A genuine compliment is a little way to trigger a smile, make ourselves better by being thoughtful, or simply brighten someone’s day. And when you have to deal with 20 nerdy engineers every day, a day-brightener is definitely needed.

In closing, we could offer everyone a few kinds words to make your day a little better, but we figure that by having the photo above to chuckle at, there’s no compliment needed.


Well, we do probably fit the roles of sheep or donkeys more than wise men or angels…

As the the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, the focus often shifts to turkey eating, tree decorating, and cookie eating. (Steve and Brian Barhorst keep the office so cold it’s worth putting on some “winter insulation” weight around here. At least that’s our excuse…) If Choice One Engineering was making out a Christmas list, it might include “daily lunch buffet,” “tunnel from parking lot across the street into building during cold/rainy weather,” and, of course, “a nap room.”

Despite this brilliant, reasonable list, it’s important to remember the true meaning of the holiday season. For this reason we encourage everyone to share and volunteer time, talent, or treasure to make someone else’s holiday brighter, whether that be by playing the role of a donkey or by just not being an a–, er… donkey.

“Geez, if Ross wants to stop working here, he doesn’t need to eat suicide wings. He could just quit.”
– Brittany Clinehens


Ross, Eric, and Jeff North were out in Indiana surveying for a new project a few weeks back. The crew stopped for dinner at The Grill n’ Grate BBQ in Syracuse, and Ross chose to order the “Suicide Wings”. Evident by his runny nose and teary eyes, the wings were, in fact, very hot. We believe he survived the ordeal (he’s been spotted in the office since), although the teary eyes probably aren’t from the heat, but from pain and suffering instead. Talk about an intensive co-op experience…

Trying dangerous foods isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but getting out of our comfort zones isn’t always a bad thing. Trying something new or unknown can help us find different ways of doing things or help us learn something new. If nothing else, in this example, Ross has learned to beware of any food with “suicide” in the title.

Should the survey crew get back to the Syracuse area in the near future, let’s hope Ryan Francis goes along. With Ryan’s help, Ross will surely find more ways to expand his comfort zone by learning all kinds of new things.

“Tony, you should call Angela and tell her you can finally talk, but only for two minutes because that’s all that quarter is going to buy.”
-Brittany Clinehens


If you tried to call Choice One a few Mondays back, you wouldn’t have gotten through. Our phone company, who shall remain nameless (ahem, Time Warner), has had a recurring problem communicating between departments, which apparently leads to our phone being shut off. The trouble has been resolved (Time Warner has apologized profusely), but not before our friend Angela from the Village of Ada tried to call unsuccessfully.

This is not the first time a client has given us a hard time or connected with us about non-work matters:
  • To a certain Village Administrator, Kaye is known as “The Survey Princess” (not queen, because queen implies “old,” thank you very much).
  • A certain Safety-Service Director couldn’t wait to tell us all about his inability to swim across a boating channel (just to save money) and his subsequent need for rescue.
  • A certain municipal staff practices for weeks prior to Choice One’s annual Municipal Cup Cornhole Challenge (mark your calendars for March 27, 2013, everyone!).

Altogether, this relentless harassment and these good-humored friendships make working together more fun. And gives us more Choice Mindsets fodder, too.

There’s probably a reference to be made here about a Travis Tritt song concerning a quarter and nobody caring, Angela, but we appreciate your donation. It could get Tony half a soda in the Choice One Canteen, but he might just keep it to memorialize such a “generous” friend.

“You know it’s bad when Jeff Kunk is making fun of you.”
–  Megan Bornhorst


We’re not sure if Megan’s proclamation is a compliment to Jeff Kunk or not. Is he too polite to make fun of anyone? Or is he so awkward that anyone he’s making fun of must be REALLY awkward? Either way, it’s not a good omen for the one being teased. (It may not come as a surprise that Mr. Kunk was comparing Mitch’s height to that of a fourth grader. Sorry, Mitch.)

If Megan’s statement above is true, then Jeff is in the minority at Choice One. If you haven’t caught on yet, we like to pick on each other, to the point of doing so publicly in these Choice Mindsets. What Jeff, Mitch, and the rest of the Choice One crew knows, however, is that our ability to laugh with each other and at ourselves is a big key to making our organization a fun place to work for and (hopefully) enjoyable to work with.

We might even suggest that if there’s no razzing going on among us, then something is wrong. Likewise, our beloved clients tend to get the same treatment, as we’ll see in some future Choice Mindsets. Not that any of you should be nervous [evil laugh].

“What doesn’t the ‘L’ stand for? Loser?”

– Wes Goubeaux


Loser, Wes? “L” stands for Loveland! Duh.

Every year on Choice One’s “birthday,” October 24, Brian Barhorst makes little “1” cookies to celebrate. In fact, this upcoming October 24, will be Choice One’s 18th birthday. Bring on the lottery, cigarettes, and finally moving out of our parents’ house!

Now that the Loveland office has been up and running for a year, Brian decided to celebrate its first “birthday” on August 30. Not wanting to make “1” cookies for Loveland, Brian made “L” for Loveland (c’mon, Wes, the only losers around here are the Chicago Cubs).

We want to make a pretty big deal that Loveland Choice One has turned one, especially considering the music academy directly above the office features beginner clarinet lesson each week. They’ve made new friends like the City of Loveland and Clermont County, completed some great projects, and successfully eaten at every restaurant within walking distance of 203 W. Loveland Avenue.

So happy birthday Loveland Choice One. Who doesn’t love celebrating birthdays? Well, probably not Tony or Jeff Puthoff, because they’re old.