Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Chris Fluegeman:
“I studied detention a lot in school. I was detained after school and released slowly.”

In the engineering world, we often talk about the detention and retention of storm water (typically in manmade basins), and it’s easy to confuse one with the other. Thankfully, our surveyor Chris has provided us a real-life analogy to help us remember that a detention basin is typically an empty, depressed span of grass and a retention basin is typically full of water (and probably full of cheerfulness, too).

The photo, obviously, was staged to reflect Chris’s continued misbehavior that once landed him in “detention.” I bet you can almost hear the beautiful sing-song voices of our Loveland staff chanting “You can’t survey in Mason, you have to sit by the basin!” Or even worse (at least according to the perpetually-hungry Brian Schmidt), “You won’t eat Skyline a bit. In detention you must sit!”

Chris, we’re confident your behavior has vastly improved since junior high school. But if you (or any other hooligans in Loveland) misbehave, we know that the threat of “detention” is just outside the doors of Choice One’s new Loveland office. Take note: we’ll be forced to use best engineering practices to decide how slowly you get released.

Wes Goubeaux:
“Destroyed with water leak.”

Remember when Megan gave us all hugs for Christmas in 2013? Well, Wes’s coupon was ruined in a recent water leak. A HUGE disappointment for Wes, we’re sure.

Thankfully, other than the coupon, there wasn’t much permanent water damage. We feel pretty lucky, especially considering the old, priceless treasures we’ve been keeping around here.

  • The oldest item at Steve’s desk, other than Steve himself, is an architect scale he bought in 1967 for high school drafting class.
  • Lexy has kept an old pocket reference book that she inherited from whomever previously sat at her desk. You know, just in case she needs to look up the area code of the Caribbean island of Montserrat or how to convert butts to bushels.*
  • Both Tyler Thobe and Brian Schmidt have the same hydraulic slide rule dated 1987. This is interesting because 1) their desks are about 100 miles apart, and 2) that slide rule is three years older than Tyler.
  • Brian Barhorst and Jeff Kunk annually share displaying a 1997 USSSA Softball Trophy from the glory days of the Choice One-sponsored softball team. 2019 is Kunk’s year to feature it on his desk, in case you were wondering.


Despite the coupon being old and damaged, Megan told Wes the offer for a hug was always valid. Yet as an honest gentleman, Wes didn’t want to take advantage of a potentially questionable coupon. Don’t worry Megan—we’re sure Wes wants a hug… why else was he hanging on to a six-year-old coupon?

*And because you probably want to know, 1 butt = 13.54 bushels.

Michael Kunzi:
“I opened the photo. I comprehended the photo. And I was still fooled. Am I that dumb?”

New employee Michael* Kunzi, or just “Kunzi” as we call him, was tricked into helping move a box that Megan was hiding in. And as stated, he saw a shared photo of Megan getting into the box, knew Megan was waiting in the box to surprise him, and STILL came lickety-split to help move said box when summoned.

No, you’re not dumb, Kunzi, we’re just clever jokesters (at least for engineers). Be careful, you never know when we’ll get you. Sometimes the practical jokes are as simple as our recent attempt to surprise the UPS guy. Others become much more elaborate, however, like sending a $250 invoice to the Ohio Governor’s Office (which Kaye still claims was an accident, not a practical joke).

Keep being willing and helpful Kunzi, and we promise you’ll be rewarded (someday) with more than embarrassment. Plus, since you’re new here, we’ll cut you a break: this is your slightly overdue warning that we may have a practical joke or two up our sleeves (though sadly not in our pockets).

*Yes, we have another Michael to deal with—meaning that 8% of our employees are now named Michael.

Kecia Flaute:
“If you give a Green Shirt a box…”

If you’re not familiar with it, Kecia is rephrasing a well-known children’s book titled If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. And in this day and age of next-day shipping, there’s never a lack of cardboard in our office.

So for today’s enjoyment, Inquiring Mindsets wants to know: what DOES happen when you give a Choice Oner a box?

We always issue a standard challenge: “Think you can fit in that box?”
We use them to build things. Forts, walls, basketball hoops. You know, typical stuff.
We work hard to use the box to hide and scare each other… as well as surprise any unsuspecting visitors.
(That’s Brittany in the box scaring the UPS guy. He said he couldn’t ship Brittany in the box because it had a FedEx label. Looks like we’re stuck keeping her around.)

[Video here.]


Mitch Thobe:
“We need to stop hiring basketball players. I already look short.”

We’re not totally heartless: we acknowledge that we shouldn’t pick on Mitch, Thomas, and Ryan for their common inability to control their height. Just like long-goofy limbs or big feet, these are physical attributes completely out of their control.

Instead, we thought it best to make the following list of the positives of having a staff of diverse height here at Choice One.

  • When measuring culvert sizes in the field, we can quickly determine heights from 60 inches to 84 inches without a tape measure.
  • Without a few shorter folks, we could never have fit so many of us into one Choice One [clown] car. And without a few taller folks, how could we reach things on upper shelves?
  • When taking a group photo, we have obvious candidates for back row and front row. (Although candidates for fluorescent spandex are hand-selected regardless of height.)

With all these important reasons, how could we not appreciate the short, the tall, and everyone in between? However, we’re not getting soft–we’ll definitely keep picking on Mitch, Ryan, and Thomas for other common features they DO have control over. Most notable, they’re all fans of Cleveland sports teams. And that’s just short-sighted.

Kyle Siegrist:
“Have to pay for the beer Choice One will drink at my wedding somehow…”

CAD Designer Kyle Siegrist is getting married in August, and he’s understandably concerned about keeping the Choice One crew happy at the wedding reception. Lucky for Kyle, he can capitalize on sitting in the current most valuable seat in the Sidney office: next to the window where thrilling office expansion-related sanitary work and gravel backfilling can be watched (…a kind of thrill only civil engineers could love).

Smart move, Kyle, collecting quarters in exchange for a construction look-see. And to think, it only took you two years at Choice One to follow in the footsteps of your fellow capitalist coworkers. Kudos on following in the footsteps of someone like Brian “Barney” Barhorst, who operates the Canteen solely to fund his personal travel. But you still have a long way to go to outshine Kaye, who talked her local county engineers into a personal loan.

Kyle, we hope you’re able to save up a few extra dollars for your wedding for dealing with all of us looky-loos over the next few months. We especially hope you get a few contributions considering your window is probably more popular than you are right now—at least until you buy us all beer at your wedding, that is.