Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“Geez, if Ross wants to stop working here, he doesn’t need to eat suicide wings. He could just quit.”
– Brittany Clinehens


Ross, Eric, and Jeff North were out in Indiana surveying for a new project a few weeks back. The crew stopped for dinner at The Grill n’ Grate BBQ in Syracuse, and Ross chose to order the “Suicide Wings”. Evident by his runny nose and teary eyes, the wings were, in fact, very hot. We believe he survived the ordeal (he’s been spotted in the office since), although the teary eyes probably aren’t from the heat, but from pain and suffering instead. Talk about an intensive co-op experience…

Trying dangerous foods isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but getting out of our comfort zones isn’t always a bad thing. Trying something new or unknown can help us find different ways of doing things or help us learn something new. If nothing else, in this example, Ross has learned to beware of any food with “suicide” in the title.

Should the survey crew get back to the Syracuse area in the near future, let’s hope Ryan Francis goes along. With Ryan’s help, Ross will surely find more ways to expand his comfort zone by learning all kinds of new things.

“Tony, you should call Angela and tell her you can finally talk, but only for two minutes because that’s all that quarter is going to buy.”
-Brittany Clinehens

If you tried to call Choice One a few Mondays back, you wouldn’t have gotten through. Our phone company, who shall remain nameless (ahem, Time Warner), has had a recurring problem communicating between departments, which apparently leads to our phone being shut off. The trouble has been resolved (Time Warner has apologized profusely), but not before our friend Angela from the Village of Ada tried to call unsuccessfully.

This is not the first time a client has given us a hard time or connected with us about non-work matters:
  • To a certain Village Administrator, Kaye is known as “The Survey Princess” (not queen, because queen implies “old,” thank you very much).
  • A certain Safety-Service Director couldn’t wait to tell us all about his inability to swim across a boating channel (just to save money) and his subsequent need for rescue.
  • A certain municipal staff practices for weeks prior to Choice One’s annual Municipal Cup Cornhole Challenge (mark your calendars for March 27, 2013, everyone!).

Altogether, this relentless harassment and these good-humored friendships make working together more fun. And gives us more Choice Mindsets fodder, too.

There’s probably a reference to be made here about a Travis Tritt song concerning a quarter and nobody caring, Angela, but we appreciate your donation. It could get Tony half a soda in the Choice One Canteen, but he might just keep it to memorialize such a “generous” friend.

“You know it’s bad when Jeff Kunk is making fun of you.”
–  Megan Bornhorst


We’re not sure if Megan’s proclamation is a compliment to Jeff Kunk or not. Is he too polite to make fun of anyone? Or is he so awkward that anyone he’s making fun of must be REALLY awkward? Either way, it’s not a good omen for the one being teased. (It may not come as a surprise that Mr. Kunk was comparing Mitch’s height to that of a fourth grader. Sorry, Mitch.)

If Megan’s statement above is true, then Jeff is in the minority at Choice One. If you haven’t caught on yet, we like to pick on each other, to the point of doing so publicly in these Choice Mindsets. What Jeff, Mitch, and the rest of the Choice One crew knows, however, is that our ability to laugh with each other and at ourselves is a big key to making our organization a fun place to work for and (hopefully) enjoyable to work with.

We might even suggest that if there’s no razzing going on among us, then something is wrong. Likewise, our beloved clients tend to get the same treatment, as we’ll see in some future Choice Mindsets. Not that any of you should be nervous [evil laugh].

“What doesn’t the ‘L’ stand for? Loser?”

– Wes Goubeaux


Loser, Wes? “L” stands for Loveland! Duh.

Every year on Choice One’s “birthday,” October 24, Brian Barhorst makes little “1” cookies to celebrate. In fact, this upcoming October 24, will be Choice One’s 18th birthday. Bring on the lottery, cigarettes, and finally moving out of our parents’ house!

Now that the Loveland office has been up and running for a year, Brian decided to celebrate its first “birthday” on August 30. Not wanting to make “1” cookies for Loveland, Brian made “L” for Loveland (c’mon, Wes, the only losers around here are the Chicago Cubs).

We want to make a pretty big deal that Loveland Choice One has turned one, especially considering the music academy directly above the office features beginner clarinet lesson each week. They’ve made new friends like the City of Loveland and Clermont County, completed some great projects, and successfully eaten at every restaurant within walking distance of 203 W. Loveland Avenue.

So happy birthday Loveland Choice One. Who doesn’t love celebrating birthdays? Well, probably not Tony or Jeff Puthoff, because they’re old.

“Two heads ARE better than one!”
– Megan Bornhorst

It’s really best NOT to ask about the story behind this particular photo, its corresponding glasses, and weird Kaye mask that Brittany has donned. Suffice it to say that there was once a terrible cellphone camera photo taken of Kaye in said glasses that just keeps popping up in various places, including a Choice One bathroom cabinet, a laser tag facility in Indianapolis, and, obviously, on Brittany’s face.

Regardless of the origin of the photo, it’s important to note that two Kayes would definitely be better than one for several reasons. First of all, these Choice Mindsets would get really off-the-wall. Second of all, the annual Cornhole Tournament would be more elaborate and our clients would have to throw cornbags in even more ridiculous ways. Finally, having two minds and two different viewpoints to consider and debate an issue typically leads to a more practical, useable idea, solution, project, or plan of attack.


Of course, one has to look at the negatives, too. Naturally, Kaye is (or thinks she is) always right, so if she had two heads they would always agree with each other. Which kind of defeats the purpose of putting two minds togethering in the first place…

“You know, when Nick started here he was a nice, respectable guy. It only took seven years to corrupt him to be like us.”

– Jeff Puthoff

We all have our share of bad days full of mishaps. But engineer Nick Sanders has bad days and makes the mistake of sharing his misadventures (and sending photos of himself yelling in the car after a particularly frustrating event, even knowing it may end up in a Choice Mindset).

 Let’s see… There was his wife’s parrot that attacked him, the gas pump line he tripped over (causing a severely sprained elbow, which in turn caused him to miss watching the OSU-Michigan football game), the curtain at the blood drive he fell into and knocked down, the dead bird in his toolbox, the search for his grandfather’s severed arm in a cornfield…


Despite all of the screaming in the car, in reality, Nick is willing to share his mishaps and commiserate with us about occasional unfortunate luck because dealing with frustration is easier when you can laugh at the situation.  Perhaps a little Choice One sarcasm has rubbed off on him (as Jeff pointed out), but really, Nick’s the type of guy that won’t let a mistaken drug bust along the highway in Colorado* get him down.


*Yes, this really happened. While on vacation with his family, Nick was pulled over and his van, packed to the brim for a road trip, was completely torn apart by the State Police who for some reason thought he was part of a drug cartel. He’s a suspicious-looking guy, don’t you think?