Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“With the new copier/scanner, Camille will be able to get 2015 archived before WE even get there.”
– Brian Barhorst


Camille, our seasonal gal, has quite a stack of work ahead of her this summer. Literally. With a new copier/scanner (advanced enough to be a time machine… that could run on Megan’s random Doritos, just like the Super Bowl ad), Choice One is going digital with its history/archive files to free up office space currently occupied by filing cabinets. Camille’s job here this summer will be to scan about five years’ worth of plans, contracts, Permits to Install, topographic surveys, and nonsensical, handwritten notes (and if they’re Brian Schmidt’s, they might be illegible).

Just think if we could work ahead now into 2015! The field surveyors could plan for rain and work only in the best, driest weather (therefore keeping Ryan Francis from getting trucks stuck in the mud). The tech geeks around here could already be figuring out their iPhone 6s. And we could all make sure we fix our brackets just right so we DON’T win the office NCAA pool (lest we have to buy lunch).

Despite the overwhelming look of the “Leaning Tower of Files” Camille has (indeed, it appears to have made her turn green like the rest of us), she knows her efforts will be greatly appreciated. Because, hey, with a couple of banks of filing cabinets removed, there will be more space in our offices, theoretically allowing us to hire more Jeffs, Brians, Michaels, Ryans, Dans, Allens, and Nicks to maintain our distinct conformity.

“Hey! Those all belong to me. They all have my name on them.”

Tyler Thobe

If you can’t tell from the photo, Tyler is surrounded by the Ty Brand Beanie Babies we used for the recent Choice One Charity Cup. Each one has a little tag on it that says “Ty,” so Ty felt they all belonged to him. Or were at least named after him.

That got us thinking:  what other children’s toys/cartoons could be associated with Choice One staffers?*

  • The Toys ‘R’ Us mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe has a lot in common with Jeff Puthoff. Jeff is tall and awkward, and was blonde once, before he started going grey.
  • The children’s cartoon dinosaur Barney could certainly take his name from Choice One’s Barney (Brian Barhorst). Brian loves purple and green and is almost as old as a dinosaur.
  • While the “Geekman Action Figure” is not specifically named “Mitch” or “Matt,” we know that his name would be Mitch or Matt if he had a name, because they’re both traffic geeks.

As a final point, unlike Jeff, Barney, Mitch and Matt (who each have something in common with their name-sharing counterpart), Ty doesn’t share the characteristics of the Beanie Babies he has. Except maybe the turkey. And the goose.

*You may think we missed an obvious one here, but there is no correlation between Tony Schroeder and the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes mascot Tony the Tiger. Tony Schroeder is neither a tiger nor does he eat sugary cereal. We won’t comment whether or not he’s “GRRRRRRRRRRREAT!”

“There is rarely an event at Choice One that doesn’t correspond to an event in an episode of Seinfeld.”

-Kaye Borchers


Whether you’ve seen or you like Seinfeld or not, we feel that the premise that “it’s a show about nothing” is not quite accurate. To us here at Choice One, it’s really a show about mundane, everyday life situations (don’t we all know a local version of the Soup Nazi?) spiced up by fairly typical people responding hilariously to mundane, everyday life situations. And while the characters on Seinfeld are perhaps a little over the top, who doesn’t know a few Kramers that turn out to be dear friends? (Indeed, there are many Kramers” here at Choice One…)

Mundane, everyday life happens, but how we respond to it is what makes it enjoyable, comical, and entertaining. Choice One folks work at surveying and engineering, sure, but we also work at having a good time with fellow employees and clients. We’re pretty sure this shows up in our work relationships, these Choice Mindsets, and ridiculous events such as Nick eating a Snickers with a knife and fork. “I’m eating my dessert. How do you eat it? With your hands?”

Choice One may not be an apartment in New York City, but trust us, “it wasn’t a pick; it was a scratch!”

[Don’t remember the Snicker’s episode or aren’t familiar with the show? See the highlights here.]

Recent text message conversation between Tony and Brittany (YES! Tony knows how to text!):

We’re still collecting donations to help send Tony away on another long bicycle ride (thanks to all of you who have already made private donations—we won’t reveal your identity to Tony). However, we’re one step closer, as Tony ordered a new bike and it arrived recently while he was out of the office.

With Tony away again, we could repurpose his office for poker games, ping-pong, and buffets. But that got us thinking: if we could send a few more people away, what could we “accomplish” around here?

  • If we could send Brian Barhorst away, we could abuse The Canteen. (Oh wait, we already do that…)
  • If we could send Wes Goubeaux away, we would NOT have to hear about the Chicago Cubs every single day.
  • If we would send Michael Seeger, Ryan Lefeld, and Eric Kuck away, we could stop having to endlessly discuss all the frilly details of their upcoming weddings. Really guys, you should stop stressing so much over flower arrangements, how to drape the tulle on the head table, and deciding which cufflinks the groomsmen should wear.

While all that does sound tempting, we’re probably best when we’re together—we have and can accomplish pretty great things as a team. You know, like eating more pizza than the average American and “helping” each other out when it’s time to do the dirty work.

Greg: “You have a random bag of Doritos in your car right now?”
Megan: “There’s no such thing as a random bag of Doritos.”


We take our snacks seriously here, if you haven’t noticed. But as our resident Eagle Scout Brian Barhorst can tell us, the point here is that of the Boy Scouts: “Always be prepared.”

Lots of us here have random (and non-random) items in our cars. There are lots of practical items, like a manhole hook, a safety vest, or jumper cables. But there are seemingly less practical items, too, until their convenience is linked to the driver of the vehicle:

  • Brittany keeps a feather bed in the back of her minivan, and Kaye keeps a pillow and blanket right there on-hand in the backseat. You never know when the opportunity may arise for a good nap.
  • Jeff Puthoff maintains a fine coating of soybean dust in his car. You know, for farmer purposes.
  • Tony keeps two- and three-year-old Choice One Christmas gifts in his trunk in case he needs an emergency snack. Nothing like three-year old Oreos and Twizzlers to avoid diabetic shock.
  • Allen Bertke reports that he has a half-bag of cold patch (for asphalt repair) in his car. Apparently he’s taking this winter’s pothole situation into his own hands…

Whether it’s a bag of popsicle sticks and a funnel (Michael Seeger) or a four-foot level (Brian Schmidt), all of us at Choice One maintain a healthy ration of randomness. And Megan’s right, there is no such thing as a random bag of Doritos; in this office, we don’t let those delicious, cheesy delicacies randomly sit around for long.

“Casey, I would consider sitting in a different area. At least until we know this thing will stay up there.”
– Jeff Puthoff


This is one of those “how many engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb” jokes just waiting to happen. Allen Bertke (left) and Michael Seeger (right) hung  a TV monitor over co-op Casey’s desk a few weeks back. If the strange map of blue tape on the wall and the intensity of the measuring going on is any indication, it will probably fall down before the end of the month. Measure once, cut twice… Or something like that, right guys?

Many of us have specialties here. Allen is our floor-layer and wall-builder (although he could have added a little more insulation so that the Loveland guys didn’t have to listen to beginner clarinet practice next door each day). Tony is our perpetual delegator. And Matt makes sure all of the professional licenses are level and equally spaced on the wall in both offices. (Oh, and he cleans and maintains toilets.)

It may take a few tries to use our extra “talents” since they’re not about the surveying and engineering education and experience we have. Shoot, clearly no amount of experience can prepare someone to hook up a coffee machine. For Casey’s sake, let’s hope the TV stays on the wall.