Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Mike Goettemoeller:
“I have Choice One clothes everywhere. Oxford, Loveland, Portland, Sidney, St. Henry… my car.”

Choice One engineer Mike G. is a bit of a nomad. He technically resides in Oxford, Ohio, but sometimes his mad traffic engineering skills bring him to various municipalities throughout the Choice One service area. This prompts him to occasionally crash (no traffic engineering pun intended) at his parents’ place in St. Henry, Ohio, or work from any of the three Choice One offices, whichever is handy at the moment. Heck, he could be on vacation for a week and we’d all just assume he’s at one of the offices we’re not.

We’ve covered some of the random things we stash in our cars, so Mike G.’s stash of clothing really isn’t a surprise. It’s smart, really, because if you’re caught at work without the standard-issue Choice One green, you owe the entire company lunch (which is less about cost and more about principle, just like buying [or not buying] doughnuts).

We play a cheerful version of “Where’s Mike G.?” when we need to find him, trying each of his office phone extensions and then throwing a dart at a map. Perhaps we should consider providing him with a green and white striped Where’s Waldo style Choice One shirt, hat, and glasses. At least that would give him one more article of clothing to stash in another locale.

“Kaye, I can’t believe someone from Choice One could run out of green.”
– Nick Selhorst

Hopefully, you can empathize with Kaye, as most of us have been there: you arrive at a destination, let’s say the annual County Engineers’ Association of Ohio Conference an hour and a half away in Columbus, and realize you’ve forgotten your purse/wallet. Oh, and you’re out of gas and have to pay for parking.

We’ve all undoubtedly experienced that moment of panic when we wonder if we shut off the oven, locked the door, or turned off the car’s headlights so we don’t have to ask for a jumpstart twice in one day. After a moment of such panic, Kaye called up her local County Engineer, Shelby County’s Bob Geuy in hopes that he was in attendance. (Hey, she lives in Shelby County, so she votes for him every four years. He owes her, right?) But after reaching Bob’s voicemail, she remembered another friend, Montgomery County Senior Engineer Stephanie Goff, was presenting at the conference. A personally embarrassing, laughter-filled conversation later, Stephanie graciously loaned Kaye cash for parking
and gas.

We’re all human, and it’s humbling to be reminded that we have friends who understand and care (and can act as an impromptu ATM in a pinch). Thanks again, Stephanie, for paying it forward… literally.

Megan Bornhorst:
“Congrats on the engagement, Casey! Will this be the first time we change someone’s initials here?”
Jeff Puthoff:
“No. We changed Nick Selhorst’s when he married Choice One.”

Backstory: everything we do at Choice One involves our initials, from official email addresses to hand-jotted notes. Using our unique initials is so commonplace we often refer to each other as AJB, CCE, WDG, and so on. Then, four years ago, the unthinkable happened. Two people had the same initials: Nicholas Jerome Sanders and Nicholas John Selhorst. Since Nick Sanders was already established as our official “NJS,” the newly employed Nick Selhorst became NNS, short for “Not Nick Sanders.”

Indeed, some clients actually call in and ask for “Not Nick” on a regular basis. And we’re pretty sure that’s ok with NNS, as he often refers to himself as “Not Nick” as well. Because let’s be real–being mistaken as Nick Sanders would mean endless hours of listening to Kenny Rogers.

Soon, the newly engaged Casey Heitkamp (CCH) will become Casey Reichert. And at Not Nick’s request, in honor of Casey’s engagement, we will be listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival (you know, CCR) all day at Choice One. Sorry Nick Sanders, it’s not a Kenny Rogers day.

Congrats Casey. Your bridesmaids will be wearing purple and green, right?

P.S. Save the date (sorry, not for Casey’s wedding): the Choice One Charity Cup is
March 30, 2016!

Jeff Puthoff:

“I am a trendsetter once again: ‘Grinch Green’ will be the next hot fashion color.”

Boy, look at all of that holiday cheer. Developer Jessica Minesinger and the City of Troy’s Christy Butera were right when they told Jeff Puthoff that his shirt is “Grinch Green,” not Choice One Green. At least he’s in one of the Christmas colors—we all know he won’t wear red.

It’s not that Jeff actually dislikes Christmas, it’s more that all of that jolly, merrymaking stuff gets in the way of a few of his favorite winter activities, such as working cattle, wrenching on machinery, and complaining about the weather. Look on the bright side, Jeff, maybe Santa will bring you a shiny new John Deere tractor and minimal snow plowing this year. Or at least a market increase to $12.00 per bushel of soybeans.

From all of us at Choice One Engineering (including our resident Grinch): Thanks for a fantastic 2015, and we triple dog dare you to have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Andy Shuman:
“So… are we taking turns eating lunch in Tony’s office?”

He tried to close the blinds and shut the door, but we noticed a certain someone with quite the evil grin eating lunch at Tony’s desk. Despite sweeping away the crumbs and putting things back in order (although Tony’s desk ever being “orderly” is a stretch), Tony knew someone had been in his space. And like Papa Bear, he sensed a tall stranger had been sitting in his chair, and Nick “Goldilocks” Sanders was caught.

Of course, it’s no secret here at Choice One that Tony’s office is free game when he’s not around (since he’s never here anyway), be it for naps, ping pong, or miniature farming. And that’s really how we roll here at Choice One—what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine, from computers and desks to salad dressing, Doritos (from Megan), and, yes, even offices. We’ve borrowed spouses to help run our annual Charity Cup, kids to help stuff our Christmas cards, and, of course, snacks from The Canteen. We promise we’re going to pay for it all someday, Barney!

Nick claims he was using the office to attend a storm water related webinar, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he was really watching some kind of pet bird self-defense video on YouTube. Either way, next time, Nick, readjust Tony’s chair height when you’re finished with it. And for Pete’s sake, leave him some potato chips.

Craig Eley:
“They weren’t this mean at ODOT.”

Josh Craig:
“Come to think of it, they weren’t this mean at INDOT, either.”

It happens every year: a new Choice One employee assumes we’re joking about the annual Signing of the Christmas Cards. Since Craig and Josh were hired after last year’s Signing, it’s clear these two former Department of Transportation employees didn’t have to sign holiday cards while working for their states’ DOTs. It’s also clear that we waited until now to tell them that we hand sign every single card, every single year. That’s where said “meanness” may have been pointed out…

Each year there is the initial hesitation that comes with signing hundreds of cards, but then we actually get started. First, we block out Craig Eley’s whining. Then we get in a groove–chatting, laughing, and enjoying the holiday spirit. Heck, Brian Barhorst may have even been dancing in his chair this year. (Hey, we have to celebrate getting engi-nerds to show spirit for anything other than traffic counts, storm calcs, and The Big Bang Theory).

Someone inevitably signs in the wrong place. One of our lefties ends up smudging a signature (Caray claims she’s left-footed, but that’s no excuse for right-handed smudges). And somehow after you sign your name 700 times, it starts to look misspelled. Thankfully we have enough Jeffs, Mikes, Nicks, Brians, Craigs, etc., that we can double check each other’s work. 700 times.

P.S. Strategically, new engineer Casey Heitkamp starts at Choice One on December 28. Don’t tell her about the cards yet, ok everyone?