Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Brittany: “I hate praying mantis.”

Mitch: “Is it ‘praying’ mantis or ‘prang’ mantis?”

Brittany: “I think it is ‘praying’ mantis because it looks like they are praying.”

Mitch: “Oh. Probably. I just always say it really fast so people don’t know what I am saying.”


Yeah, Mitch, you might want to protect that valuable noggin of yours. It’s clearly filled with spot-on information about the world beyond engineering. Or maybe you just need to uncover your ears to hear “praying” instead of “prang.”

Since we’ve successfully filled Mitch’s head with traffic engineering data, we can’t expect him to also be an expert in entomology (that’s the study of insects, Mitch). Besides, if we had an insect expert, he’d have to compete with the other “experts” around here, like our lawn expert Greg, who accidentally sprayed his entire lawn with Round-Up instead of a non-grass-killing herbicide this past weekend.

Thankfully, we really are experts at the things that matter here at Choice One (you know, like farming, cycling, and pizza). Let’s just hope that Mitch’s fashion statement doesn’t catch on around here. It would take Megan twice as long to get ready for work if she had to put bags on her feet and a lifejacket on her head…

“I think I’m going to put a reminder on my phone that says ‘Go to work,’ and just hit ‘Dismiss’ when it pops up.”

– Greg Albers


For some reason, Brian Schmidt ends up in the doghouse almost every week, as he tends to have a hard time remembering to submit his completed timesheet. He gets it all filled out, but its that tricky little “Submit” button that gets him every time. And, like clockwork, almost every Monday Jeff Puthoff “politely” reminds Schmitty to click ‘Submit.”

Brian decided to be proactive and put a recurring reminder on his Outlook calendar that says “Submit Timesheet” on every Friday afternoon. However, he apparently dismisses this reminder each time it pops up on his screen. Perhaps he has a hard time tearing himself away from a particularly engaging sanitary sewer slope… or is occasionally distracted by the downtown Loveland traffic passing the office.

There’s lots of things we can think of that would be more fun to “dismiss” than filling out our timesheets, such as:

  • “Perform field survey” (in 5-degree weather)
  • “Perform field survey” (in 95-degree weather)
  • “Lunch meeting – 12:30” (when some of us struggle to patiently wait ALL the way until 12:30pm to eat)
  • “Fix coffee machine” (when you’re Tony)

Perhaps you all can help us out. Feel free to bombard Schmitty with reminders to submit his timesheet today at Since Jeff Puthoff can be cranky early on a Monday morning (many of us might agree that Monday mornings are a tempting time to click “Dismiss” on the “Go to Work” reminder), and since Brian doesn’t pay attention to his computer reminder, maybe we can keep him out of that doghouse with a reminder by committee.

Brian Goubeaux: “Jeff, if MSA is the official architect of the Cincinnati Reds and they take Opening Day off, can we be the official civil engineers of the Cincinnati Reds and get Opening Day off too?”

Jeff Puthoff: “Goub, baseball is boring. If you want Opening Day off, just take a frickin’ vacation day.”


Some of us baseball fans admire our friends at MSA Architects for taking Opening Day off like a holiday. Granted, their offices are in downtown Cincinnati, and logistically, getting to and from work and getting anything done when the office overlooks the stadium would be pretty difficult in the first place, but we think it makes a pretty good business statement too.

Opening Day at Choice One brings a big bag of peanuts in the shell, lots of talk and dreams of pennant races, and the radio getting switched to 700 WLW near game time. Some in the company, however, (ahem, Jeff Puthoff) think baseball is “boring,” and, similarly, think taking the day off of work for a baseball game is ridiculous.

Of course, when you look at Choice One’s history, we’ve come up with plenty of “better” reasons to take days off. For instance:

  • Giving yourself a concussion falling down during a sand volleyball game.
  • Taking one of your children to the emergency room for the fifteenth sports-related injury.
  • Getting your car stuck in your driveway on a snowy day. Or not being able to get up a steep, hilly road on a snowy day.
  • Injuring your foot tripping over the fuel pump line at a gas station.
  • Taking your kids to Kalahari Waterpark for the fifth weekend in a row. Or to Disney for the third year in a row.
  • Getting an early start to Oktoberfest, Russia Homecoming, Pioneer Days, Country Concert, etc.

So cheers, MSA, for taking off Opening Day. Perhaps Choice One can consider becoming the official civil engineers of Urgent Care, Versailles Poultry Days or Honda Snow Blowers for a few extra days off.

Greg Albers: “Why is everyone on a diet? Francis, are you on a diet?”

Ryan Francis: “This Francis ain’t on no diet.”


Based on recent temperatures and random overnight snowfalls, Spring has yet to reach the area. Subsequently, Ryan Francis is obviously unconcerned about swimsuit season.

Worry can be all-consuming. While any surveyor can work on his or her physique (perhaps by swinging the sledgehammer themselves instead of forcing young, innocent surveyors to do it for them), worrying about something we can’t control–like the arrival of Spring or the weather–isn’t productive. (Nevertheless, try telling that to the farmers here at Choice One…)

As children’s book author Mitzi Chandler once said, “Worry is as useless as a handle on a snowball.” Especially if that snowball falls at the end of March. Besides, Ryan has no need to worry about dieting… He has far too many other pressing worries.

“We are on a strict diet of corn husks only.”

– Dane Nagel, Village of Versailles


…and judging by the Municipal Cup Cornhole Championship Versailles won in 2011, a “corn husk only” diet is an effective way to prepare for the Cornhole Tournament.

March 27 will mark the 7th Choice One Engineering Cornhole Challenge. Over the years, the tournament has evolved a little bit (remember when you just threw the corn-bag like a normal person instead of spinning in a circle with your eyes closed and flinging a flying monkey?), but this year will mark the best changes yet.

  1. First, the location is changing. Since we were running out of room at the Sidney American Legion, the event will be held this year at Shelby Oaks Golf Course just outside of Sidney. We’re hoping that this move to a golf facility will subversively quiet the whiners who have been relentlessly pestering us about a return to the Choice One Golf Outing days of old.
  2. Second, this year the event will benefit a really great Shelby County charity called Sluggers Little League. This program offers children between the ages of 5-18 with a mental and/or physical disability a chance to play Little League baseball. There is no fee for the players; the only prerequisite is that the players come with a desire to play baseball and have fun. Raffle tickets and donations collected at the Cornhole Tournament will be matched by Choice One and donated to this worthwhile cause.
  3. Finally, those stylish green jackets pictured above on those fetching young gentlemen will no longer be awarded to the winning team. Instead, Choice One Engineering will make a $300 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice in the winning team’s municipality.

Change can be difficult (see note above about the whining golfers…). We suggest, however, that a change worth implementing is promptly switching to a diet of corn husks only.

“Can you send more nutritious snacks down for Bosses’ Day next time? Because I just sat down in my chair and my button popped off my pants. Good thing Matt had a safety pin.”

– Brian Schmidt

Sometimes dessert is just too hard to pass up. For Brian Schmidt, that “sometimes” equals “always.” And when cheesecake looks like the one above, can you blame him?

Indulging once in a while isn’t a bad thing. At Choice One, we indulge A LOT: we indulge Tony when we listen politely to his continuous soccer talk, we indulge Jeff Puthoff and his incessant farmer complaints (“It’s too wet. It’s too dry. It’s too hot. It’s too cold.”), and we indulge Brian Goubeaux and his whining about the lack of Texas Cinnamon Rolls in The Canteen.

Be it a sugary treat or a leant ear, the occasional indulgence can satisfy a sweet tooth or a chatty coworker. Even if that means Kaye has to make a special trip to Sam’s Club. In the cold. And snow.

(You’re welcome for your breakfast this morning, Brian.)