Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Kyle Siegrist:
“Yes, I do keep a chart of when I stand up and sit down at my adjustable desk.”


Why Kyle keeps track of the number of times he stands at his current adjustable-height desk is a murky, mythical legend at Choice One. There was something about Allen Bertke asking for a stand-up desk and Kyle nobly relinquishing his stand-up desk to Allen in an act of tremendous generosity. Then Allen “allegedly” never using the stand-up feature and Kyle becoming bitter and something, something, something…

Kyle’s stand-up/sit-down log shouldn’t be a surprise. If you haven’t noticed, we like to keep track of irrelevant things out of spite. Like the number of times Jeff Kunk has bought doughnuts (0), the number of times Nick Selhorst has spilled his drink (54), and the number of times we’ve told Jeff Puthoff he’s old (officially 7—as recorded by Lexy’s calendar—but in actuality more like millions).

If we’re keeping track of things, we have to count the number of times Kyle has frowned at Allen (just over the wall in the photo) about his desk/seat/everything (2,190), which is statistically more than Kyle has actually used his stand-up desk. Kyle, you don’t have to prove your worth to us with charts and logs: we love ya no matter how many times you whine about… er, use the stand-up desk.

Lexy Bolin:
“Today I’ll be reminding Jeff Puthoff he’s old.”

Each morning the Choice One crew meets on Zoom to quickly discuss what each of us is working on. It helps us to know where help is needed and keeps us focused and accountable. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Choice One conversation if we didn’t give each other a hard time, no matter how short the meeting.


January 27th is Lexy’s work anniversary at Choice One. So on her calendar, she made a recurring note to “Remind Jeff Puthoff he’s old.” This tradition, now seven years old, is about how young Lexy seemed to Jeff when she started and how old that made Jeff feel (Lexy is 26 years younger than Jeff). And so Lexy rightfully reminds Jeff of his oldness each January 27th and allows all of us to hold her accountable for what is clearly her most important, most crucial task of the day.


So what will Jeff be working on? “Crying for two hours in the bathroom,” thanks to Lexy’s yearly age statement. Good thing we put in some extra bathrooms over the past few years. We wouldn’t want to interrupt Jeff’s realization he hasn’t been getting any younger. Happy seventh anniversary, Lexy–may Jeff’s tears be a well-earned gift!

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!