Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Text conversation between Kecia Flaute and Wes Goubeaux:

Wes Goubeaux, Tony, and Brian Barhorst are soon headed out together on a four-day ski adventure in Colorado. Tony and Brian are experienced skiers. Wes is not. In fact, other than a few trial runs at a local Bellefontaine slope (which is a far cry from Vail and Beaver Creek), Wes has about as much skiing experience as Kecia’s son Kole. And to be honest, Wes, Kole is a touch more adorable flailing about in the snow than you.

Fortunately, Wes has a good sense of humor about learning to fall-er, ski-and gets right back up. Granted, he got back up in this instance to avoid being teased, but being able to laugh at himself is commendable, regardless. Indeed, Wes’s good-natured attitude is going to be put to the test in Colorado–not because he could twist an ankle, but because he has to spend FOUR WHOLE DAYS with JUST Tony and Brian.

The bonus? Not only do the rest of us get the better part of a week free of Wes, Brian, and Tony, we can be sure that if Tony or Brian would happen to fall, Wes will be on the spot to snap a photo (even if he has to fall down, too). And fear not, we’ll make sure THAT photo makes its way into a Choice Mindset, too.

“Tony, your meeting was so long that when it began I only had 12 grandkids, and when it ended I had 13!”
– Nick Sanders

Congratulations to 13-time Grandpa Nick Sanders. And to 13-hour meeting producer Tony.

Ok, it wasn’t that long. But if Nick can add a whole new person to his family during a company meeting, we can surely hope for a few things to miraculously appear at the meeting’s conclusion. For instance: a third restroom. Because, let’s face it, after that company-wide meeting ends (and as a consequence of lots of coffee and Mt. Dew), getting 33 people through two bathrooms is a traumatic event, to say the least. Or maybe we could add another Brian, Michael or Jeff. We keep trying to find decent ones, but clearly, after acquiring three of each, we haven’t succeeded*.

While another restroom and a shiny, brand new Jeff may not be in the immediate future, we all did enjoy a photo of Nick’s new granddaughter Alice after that long January company meeting. If nothing else, we can rely on the upcoming February company meeting to supply another Choice Mindset.

*We’re now attempting a “Craig” hunt, as we welcome engineer Josh Craig to our Loveland office. Hey, we’ll count any kind of decent Craig, first name or last, to boost our current collection (Craig Frilling and Craig Eley).

“Tony, didn’t I ride my bike to the Loveland office before you did? Slacker.”
– Craig Eley


Two points of recent Choice One Engineering bravery:

  1. Hiring another traffic engineer to join the ridiculously intense Matt/Mitch/Allan traffic debates.
  2. Hiring another cycling geek like Tony.

Both converge into one new green shirt: Craig Eley*, a cycling enthusiast and former ODOT District 7 Traffic and Safety Engineer, who has joined the Choice One team. With Craig on board, hopefully the rest of us are off the hook and no longer have to pretend to listen when Tony talks about “riding centuries” or the finer points of the fit of a perfect saddle (that’s a bike seat to the rest of us).

Craig’s comment references the fact that despite Choice One opening a Loveland office in 2011, avid cyclist Tony has yet to ride his bike from Sidney to Loveland (though it has been promised many times), where the Little Miami Bike Trail passes literally 20 feet from the Loveland office door. However, Craig (along with former co-workers Matt Parrill, Gail Gildow and Randy Chevalley) has ridden his bike to the Loveland Office. And obviously, Craig has quickly caught on to the importance and enjoyment of beating Tony at anything, even if it does mean starting his ride at Urbana as opposed to Sidney. Winning.

Welcome to Choice One, Craig. We are all hoping you like soccer as well. That way you can absorb Tony’s boring soccer talk, too.

*And yes, if you’re counting, that makes two Craigs, three Michaels, two Nicks, three Jeffs, two Allans/Allens, two Ryans, three Brians, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Nick Sanders: “Do you have all the formulas in that spreadsheet cell-protected?”

Matt Hoying: “I have six copies hidden around the world.”

Here’s Matt being nerdy as Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and… well, a nerd. Ironically in a green and purple striped shirt. When Matt creates a fancy Excel spreadsheet with mathematical formulas that look like this…
…you don’t want to mess it up.
For a moment we might enjoy thinking of the torture Matt experienced creating such a formula, since it makes most of our stomachs turn (e.g. math makes Kaye cry). Yet Matt surely stayed up all night, giggling like a kid on Christmas, not wanting the fun to end as he lovingly crafting his precious creation. For at Choice One, we take unlikely delight in tasks others might avoid: deciphering property deeds from the 1800s, keeping track of thousands of vehicle turns in a traffic count, and hanging out near sanitary lagoons.


The reason? We get to use our history-loving, spreadsheet-making, dirt-moving sides. In other words, our sheer nerd-ness. And clearly, Matt makes a good nerd–both in practice and appearance.

Matt Hoying: “Megan, remember our disagreement over the correct term for more than one computer mouse? Steve Caddell with the City of Mason emailed me a link that says that both MOUSES [Megan’s vote] or MICE [Matt’s vote] is correct.”

Kecia Flaute: “So EVERYBODY is right! But, Megan,
it sounds like the term “mice” is MOSTLY right!”

Matt: “Why will no one ever acknowledge that I am
right and Megan is wrong?”

Ah, the Internet, ultimate resolver of disagreements. It’s hard to remember how we sorted out disputes before Al Gore got around to inventing the World Wide Web for us.


Even with Wikipedia, there are still a few running quarrels here at Choice One that may never be settled. Like whether or not there were really breadsticks at lunch. Or whether Mitch Thobe is 5’7” (which he is) or 5’9” (which he claims). Or what morning Jeff Kunk is going to bring doughnuts. Oh wait, there’s no dispute  there, the correct answer is NEVER.


Right or wrong, Matt, you’re likely fighting a losing battle here: not only does Megan enjoy being right, she’s eight months pregnant, so it’s best not to cross her. Our advice is to just nod and agree with whatever she says. Like when she explains her “practical” reason for wearing plastic bags, or why she may have non-random Doritos stashed in her car.


P.S. If you happen to have a Choice One mouse, and it falls asleep on you, just hit enter on your keyboard to wake it up! Lazy mouses…

“I will leave it up to you if you want to file this photo under ‘Francis being efficient,’ or ‘Francis with multiple opportunities for bad luck.'”
-Wes Goubeaux

There was once a time when we thought having more than one monitor might be excessive (and a time when smartphones were unessential and dial-up internet was fast). But to work efficiently in 2014, Ryan Francis needs four monitors for the computer to keep up with his breakneck speed.

We have a few others here who would like to be more efficient in this day and age. So if anyone is shopping for clever Christmas gifts for Choice One, here’s a few ideas:

  • Jeff Puthoff would like someone to drive him around so that he could work while traveling between meetings; truthfully, he wants to nap while someone else drives.
  • Brian Schmidt would like someone (or something) to hold his parking spot outside the door of the Loveland office–every time he leaves for lunch or a site visit he loses it and has to park behind the Choice One office (you know, like 100 yards away).
  • Nick Selhorst would like someone to change the paper in the full-size plotter for him. If he kept score it would be Plotter: 7, Nick: 0.
  • Wes Goubeaux would like lighted restroom sign (like on airplanes) so that he doesn’t walk all the way to the front of the office only to find both restrooms occupied.
  • Michael Seeger would like someone to make sure there’s always fresh coffee in the break room. Because pushing the “brew” button and waiting three minutes is SO hard sometimes.

While Jeff Puthoff may not get his chauffeur any time soon and Nick will have to keep fighting the plotter, perhaps four monitors will be standard in the not-so-distant future–Wes already has three monitors for his computer. Perhaps Wes shouldn’t be giving Ryan a hard time for “being efficient;” but he can absolutely continue to give Ryan a hard time about being unlucky.