Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Adam Gill:
“How many pairs of glasses does it take to be an accountant, Caray?”


Six. It takes six.


It’s mid-January, and that means closing the books on 2020 and preparing for tax season for our accounting team, Caray Schmiesing and Holly Fannon. We knew that Caray sometimes needs multiple cars to jump start her car and multiple boxes to serve as briefcases, we now know that she needs multiple (i.e. six) pairs of glasses to deal with this hectic time of year.


It’s good that Caray keeps “a few” spares at her desk and we should all probably take note of her preparedness. Just like how Megan keeps spare bags of Doritosin her car. And how we keep a spare, Second Bertke around here in case we misplace one. And in the same vein, we have about three too many spare Jeffs.


Hang in there, Caray. The end of tax season in April is only about nine more pairs of glasses away!

Matt Hoying:
“Marla and I have been negotiating the payment for these cookies for a week or so now.”


For over 20 years, Marla Schroeder (Tony’s daughter) has been supplying Choice One with her infamous holiday monster cookies. However, 2020 will be the last year for the cookies (Marla is getting married and moving in 2021, apparently to a state that won’t allow her to ship monster cookies across the border), and this last batch took some diplomacy by Matt Hoying to come to fruition. Marla’s baking is only eclipsed by her negotiating—note she has requested a Choice One sponsored honeymoon in return for the treats.

What might a Choice One sponsored honeymoon look like? A luxury suite in downtown Columbus for the Ohio Transportation Engineers Conference, perhaps? Roundabout Week spent in France (the country with the most roundabouts)? Or maybe a scenic helicopter ride to… Alaska? Wherever it might be, Marla, be sure to negotiate extra funds for the gas/mileage on your rental car, because no trip sponsored by engineers could be had without “short” detours to cool construction sites or innovative stormwater management systems. Just ask our families.

Marla can’t remember the first time she helped make the monster cookies for everyone at Choice One, but we’re pretty sure she was at least sneaking a few M&Ms from the bowl by 1997. If there was ever a holiday tradition within Choice One, it might just be these cookies. Marla, you drive a hard bargain. And because we love those cookies so much, Choice One is more than willing to sponsor your wedding… as long as the groomsmen wear purple tuxes and the bridesmaids were green dresses.

Inquiring Mindsets:
What are your favorite or least favorite holiday traditions?

With the holidays in full swing, we have been discussing some of our favorite–and least favorite–holiday traditions. Of course, many of us enjoy baking cookies, sipping eggnog, and watching It’s a Wonderful Life and Home Alone. But, in typical Choice One tradition, we have a few thoughts on some other holiday traditions as well:

  • Holly Fannon and Matt Hoying just don’t understand fruit cake: “You take two really great things individually and combine them into one awfully horribly not great thing. Doesn’t make sense.”
  • Mitch Thobe loves scratching instant lottery tickets with his family (but dislikes sweeping up the “shavings”).
  • Brian Schmidt enjoys the tradition of wearing matching holiday pajamas with his family. Others here at Choice One, who shall not be named to protect the guilty, are not so fond of this tradition.
  • Zach Borchers has a yearly dried beef roll-up eating contest with his cousin (sounds like our Loveland office’s coney-eating obsession).
  • Jeff Puthoff loved destroying his sister’s snowmen. If she still made snowmen, he would probably still run them down with his ATV…

Whatever your holiday traditions, we hope you get to enjoy them. Or, if you’re Jeff’s sister, we at least hope your snowman remains standing this year!

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

The holidays are upon us, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to send a shout out to our corridor-studying, signal-designing, vehicle-counting traffic engineers. Indeed, these guys might be more passionate about roundabouts than Santa is about milk and cookies.


All of us at Choice One Engineering want to wish you a healthy, safe, enjoyable holiday season free of gridlock and full of green lights. Thank you for sharing in our fun-spirited “Mindsets” for another year!


Read the whole “Night Before Christmas,” as told by traffic engineers, here. Merry Christmas!

Mitch Thobe:
“I wonder how many pins and screws are inside Choice One employee bodies?”

Recently, surveyor Dan Perreira broke his arm and needed several permanent screws surgically installed. Lucky for him, he has quite a few Choice One friends able to loan him a sling (thanks to our buy one get one slew of surgeries last fall).


We went ahead and calculated the number of nuts and bolts within current Choice One employees thanks to sports injuries and our occasional clumsiness with a very unscientific poll. The results? 35 screws, 12 anchors/fasteners, three metal plates/strips, two 7” pins, and one ligament hook (in a pear tree). Oh, and as a boy, Brian Barhorst once had has hair tied together to mend a scalp laceration (it was the 1980s…). And here we thought our digital survey collection equipment were the only robots around here!


Honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised at the totals above. Surely, after reading a couple of these Mindsets, it’s obvious we have a few screws loose. But 35?! Now THAT’S crazy!

Brian Schmidt:
“I was told I am a superhero for donating blood and I even got the socks to prove it!”

Imagine our delight to find Brian “Schmidty” Schmidt sitting at his desk, diligently designing a bridge or sewer system, with his pants rolled up and these charming superhero socks on. Not surprisingly, we didn’t even blink an eye. First, it’s, well… Schmidty. Second, this past week was Halloween, and many of us at Choice One feel that dressing up in a costume, even if it’s just on our feet, can be fun.


Unfortunately, we don’t all love Halloween. Some of us had less than stellar costume experiences in our childhoods that have left a few scars. Jake Cordonnier was a lizard one year, but his mask was of a Gremlin. Every house asked if he was a Gremlin and he was upset because he had no idea what a Gremlin was. Same thing happen to Kaye Borchers when her mom made her a flapper costume out of a table skirt and she didn’t know what a flapper was and certainly didn’t want to be one. And perhaps worst of all, Kyle Siegrist was required by his parents to be a cow, and then to make matters worse his parents gave him a Gateway computer box and said “figure it out.”


Judging by his smile, Schmidty’s superhero “costume” experience is an enthusiastic one. Plus, he gets to wear TWO capes instead of one—one on each sock! We hope his stint as Blood Donor Superman is more fun than Kyle’s cardboard cow box experience (which Kyle describes as “itchy, uncomfortable, and humiliating—I couldn’t even sit down in the car”). Most importantly, thanks for donating the gift of life, Schmidty!