Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“I told her not to this year.”
– Jeff Kunk


Did you get flowers for your last birthday? Neither did Jeff Kunk. He got flowers for this last TWO birthdays.


Jeff may sound lucky, but as evidenced by his comment above, having good fortune while at Choice One rarely pays off. For instance, should a young man here get engaged to be married, he will promptly be teased about the “mistake” he’s just made. Any kind of cash award (a door prize, an NCAA bracket pool win, etc.) means buying lunch for everyone else, which is AWESOME when you’ve won $20 and the pizza costs $70. First paycheck? Doughnuts. And that beautifully-wrapped Christmas gift with your name on it? Probably a box full of good-natured harassment.


Jeff Kunk probably is pretty lucky–he has a wife who thinks enough of him to send him flowers for his birthday two years straight. Yet we will all assume the truth: she’s just helping the rest of us give him crap for turning 29.  AGAIN.

“You guys apparently only hire people with certain names: Nick, Jeff, Dan, Ryan, Brian, Allan, and Michael.”

– Douglass Degen, Drainage Engineer, Allen County Engineering

Indeed, Mr. Degen, indeed.

Of our 30 employees, 46% of them have the same name as someone else in the company. And if you count our part-time construction inspectors Mike Sovinski and Dan Durham, that number goes up to 50%.

This phenomenon certainly wasn’t intentional (and to be honest, we wouldn’t mind getting rid of a couple of those Jeffs–we won’t say which two). However, there are good things about having double and triple names here:

  • If something is “Brian’s fault,” well, heck, it can always be one of the other Brians, right?
  • Buying name-embossed Christmas gifts for each other is simpler. You know, because the guys here TOTALLY buy each other name–embossed Christmas gifts each year.
  • We get to come up with all kinds of fun nicknames to tell them apart: Nick and Not Nick; Puthoff, Kunkles, and Shorty; Barney, Goub, and Schmitty; Dumb and Dumber. Oh wait, that last one could apply to more than just two people around here…

The bottom line? If you have an emergency engineering question, then call and ask for Brian or Jeff-one of the six is bound to be in.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, left to right, one seated in front of one (or two) standing, pictured above are: Michael Goettemoeller and Michael Seeger; Nick Selhorst and Nick Sanders; Jeff Kunk, Jeff North, and Jeff Puthoff; Allan Heitbrink and Allen Bertke (yes, that counts even though it’s spelled differently); Ryan Lefeld and Ryan Francis; Brian Barhorst and Brian Goubeaux (Brian Schmidt, absent). Not pictured? Dan Durham, Dan Perreira, and Mike Sovinski.

“You can’t tell he’s bald in this picture though.”
– Jeff Puthoff

While making edits to a Statement of Qualifications, Jeff Puthoff made a “polite” observation of Wes’s head shot. I guess this balances out Jeff calling Wes smart AND skinny a while back.

There’s a few other observations we could make about Wes:

  • “Goubeaux” is a tricky last name. (It’s pronounced “Goo-BO” if you weren’t sure.) On top of that, he’s from the Village of Russia, which is pronounced “Roo-SHE.” What gives?
  • His initials are WDG, which makes this Dilbert cartoon really funny.
  • Even though he claims to be a life-long Reds fan, we hear he really may be a Cubs fan at heart.

Whether or not his head shot was cleverly cropped on purpose or if it was just a happy accident (Wes isn’t telling), we wouldn’t trade our favorite WDG for anything–and no, we’re not talking about our actual “WDG” Tony. Although Megan might trade Wes for a WDG who likes hugs.

Kaye:  “Andy, can you give me a report on snow and road conditions? I am driving to Dayton later.”

Andy:  “Yes. Hopefully my report’s not from the ditch. Because that means the roads are bad.”


So we probably don’t have to tell you it’s been cold. But just in case: “It’s cold!”

We can’t share most of our feelings on the cold because they contain expletives not fit for a Choice Mindset. However, we do have a few reasons to enjoy the cold and snow:

  • The frigid weather is payback to the survey guys for all those sunny, 70-degree days that they get to work outside.
  • There’s the potential for someone to get stuck in the parking lot and for a Choice One mob to run across the street to come to his or her rescue, as pictured. (Why did you need so much help getting out, Brittany? Was it because that mob wanted to see you safe and sound or because they wanted to make sure they got rid of you?)
  • We get to wear our green Choice One long underwear. (We kid—we don’t have green Choice One long underwear. Yet.)

The problem with the cold is that we can’t control it. We joke here that we make water run up hill and we deliver a project yesterday, but cold is beyond the reach of a civil engineer or surveyor. We’ll just have to rely on a meteorologist for that. HA!

For your peace of mind, Andy did not have to deliver his report from the ditch. He made it back to the office safely and Kaye made it to and from Dayton without incident. Probably because she only wrecks her brand new Choice One car on clear, bright, summer days in the middle of downtown Ada. (She was just letting the Village staff know she was in town…)


“What’s the video camera for, Barney? Recording how awesome you are?”

– Brittany Clinehens


Ah, to live a day in the life of Brian “Barney” Barhorst, one of our lead designers–stocking the canteen, baking cookies for the Loveland office, bossing everyone around, and just generally being awesome (obviously)… Sounds pretty cushy, eh?

But stop and consider for a moment: what would a day in the life of Barney, or any Choice One-er, for that matter, REALLY look like? By now you might (correctly) figure it looks something like this:

  1. Put on green shirt.
  2. Drive to work.
  3. NOT eat doughnuts, because Jeff Kunk didn’t bring them. Again.
  4. Joke around with Ryan Francis before he goes out in the field for the day.
  5. Work, work, work.
  6. Drink coffee (as long as Tony has the coffee machine in working order).
  7. Work, work, work.
  8. Argue with Mitch.
  9. Work, work, work.
  10. Giggle when someone injures him/herself (likely Nick Sanders).
  11. Lunch. LUNCH!
  12. Work, work, work.
  13. Nap?! No nap. Darn.
  14. Think about how great lunch was.
  15. Work, work, work.
  16. Avoid Kaye, who’s sneaking around trying to get a Mindset photo without the subject’s consent. (How else do you think she got the shot of Barney above?)
  17. Work, work, work.
  18. Get a snack, and maybe an afternoon coffee.
  19. Work, work, work.
  20. Go home.

Really, we’ve simplified Barney’s day here, because truth be told, Barney works hard (he is the designer behind a great number of our projects and the organizer behind many of our Choice One events). But the real reason Barney is recording himself? To show new employees to brainwash them into total Barney-ization. What the video won’t show? His devious plans to win every Choice One competition (because he bends the rules in his favor) and all of his time thinking about his next visit to a theme park.

“Can I get a gift receipt for this, Megan? I’d like to return it.”

– Wes Goubeaux

This year, during the Choice One Engineering Christmas party, we were all so fortunate to receive the gift voucher above. Since we all LOVE hugs so much, Megan wanted to make sure that we all knew her arms are open for hugs whenever, wherever.

Based on the typical subjects of our Choice Mindsets (which are just the tip of the silliness iceberg here at Choice One) you can probably guess that there were a lot of ridiculous gifts passed out this year. Jeff Puthoff finally received the purple sport coat he’s been dreaming of (to dress up with all of those green shirts he wears to Christmas mass). Mitch received a children’s toy car and road signage play set, to help visualize his traffic studies and plot out his arguments with Matt. And Jeff Kunk received a single doughnut, since he clearly has a hard time finding them in the grocery store, seeing as he hasn’t bought doughnuts for the company in 20 years.

With all of these awesome gifts, it’s no surprise that Wes was disappointed with a lousy free hug coupon. Which begs the question: what is the cash value of unlimited hugs from Megan? $1.76? Maybe $2.05?

Happy New Year from everyone at Choice One Engineering!