Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“Kaye, get back here, we’ve got a Mindset for you.”
– Various

Dear family and friends,

Happy holidays! As the year ends, we just wanted to send a letter telling you all how things have been going in the Choice One household this year. We’ve certainly been busy, as evidenced by all the the gag gifts we happily shared (pictured above).

One of our newest additions to the family, Nick Selhorst, has almost graduated to a big boy cup. He still tends to spill a lot, though, so we bought him some sippy cups with handles and lids. Our other new addition Megan is still adjusting to our noisy office atmosphere. After some difficulty hearing clients on the phone when the copier is running, Santa bought her some noise-cancelling ear muffs. That way she’ll know it’s Tony from “Maineville” and not Tony from “Mango.”

Jeff Puthoff is really growing up, too. Although he still wears slip-on boots so that no one has to tie his shoelaces for him, he has almost mastered the zipper on his coat. Tony is really getting older, too. Whenever you turn on an LMFAO hip-hop song he toddles around dancing spontaneously. As cute as that is, though, stay out of his way when he throws a tantrum, especially when his coffee machine overflows or a utility truck drives through his soccer field.

Sweet little Mitch is growing up, too. In fact, we caught him repeatedly copying the big kids’ use of foul language (specifically “bullsh#t”) when he and Matt argue about traffic engineering and the best way to do things.

Dan and Ross, a couple of our field survey guys, are getting so big and strong. They actually pulled a door handle right off one of the pick-up trucks the other day! If only they were strong enough to pull Allen’s pocketbook open… we hear he’s REALLY been saving his pennies, so far as putting a padlock on his (rather dusty) wallet!

Well, that’s all the updates we have for you this year. Hope everyone has had a nice holiday. Here’s to an enjoyable 2013!

Yours truly,

Choice One Engineering

P.S. Choice One Engineering will be closed January 1, 2013.

“Matt, in the mullet of Choice One, you’re the business in the front and I’m the party in the back.”
-Kaye Borchers


…and apparently, the “Mullet of Choice One” is an unnatural shade of coppery polyester.

If you haven’t caught on yet, we like to enjoy ourselves here at Choice One. Indeed, when you’re dealing with “sanitary effluent” all day, it’s hard not to at least accidentally make a few humorous comments now and again.

Of course just like a mullet, there still has to be some business happening in the front to run an engineering company. But that business (and it’s occasional unpopular companions frustration, tedium, and anxiety) is bearable when it’s partnered with good-natured teasing, Friday afternoon pizza, or a synthetic mullet wig.

Jeff Puthoff used to have a real mullet. Perhaps there could be a future Mindset relating to that photo. Surely many of you would like to see that. Any suggestions?

“Write that down, Kaye. Puthoff called me both “skinny” and “smart” in the same week.”
– Wes Goubeaux

Geez, the compliments are flying around here.

Since Jeff Puthoff told Wes he was skinny and smart, might as well throw in that he had a lot of hair. In 1994.

Truth be told, it’s nice to hear a compliment from time to time. You know, like “Nice green shirt, Tony.” And, “Thanks, Brian, you have a nice green shirt on, too!” A genuine compliment is a little way to trigger a smile, make ourselves better by being thoughtful, or simply brighten someone’s day. And when you have to deal with 20 nerdy engineers every day, a day-brightener is definitely needed.

In closing, we could offer everyone a few kinds words to make your day a little better, but we figure that by having the photo above to chuckle at, there’s no compliment needed.


Well, we do probably fit the roles of sheep or donkeys more than wise men or angels…

As the the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, the focus often shifts to turkey eating, tree decorating, and cookie eating. (Steve and Brian Barhorst keep the office so cold it’s worth putting on some “winter insulation” weight around here. At least that’s our excuse…) If Choice One Engineering was making out a Christmas list, it might include “daily lunch buffet,” “tunnel from parking lot across the street into building during cold/rainy weather,” and, of course, “a nap room.”

Despite this brilliant, reasonable list, it’s important to remember the true meaning of the holiday season. For this reason we encourage everyone to share and volunteer time, talent, or treasure to make someone else’s holiday brighter, whether that be by playing the role of a donkey or by just not being an a–, er… donkey.

“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.