Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“Tony, thanks for the new briefcase. I just found a half- eaten piece of toast in my current one.”
– Caray Schmiesing


Some might call it strange, but we call it practical: our controller Caray often works from home, and she transports her most precious possessions (calculator, highlighter, Diet Coke) with… a coffee box.

Don’t laugh! This is practical for many reasons:

  • Every time we finish a box of coffee? New briefcase!
  • White and brown are fashionable neutrals that match everything. Want a splash of color? Take the decaf box, with its bright orange packing tape.
  • Traveling for business? There’s no way that box is getting confused in a sea of black and brown bags.
  • Have an emergency shipping (or toast-eating) situation? No problem! There’s always a box on hand.

What it really comes down to is that Caray isn’t concerned about looking fashionable, she’s more about getting the work done and done with accuracy, right down to the last cent. (Which is certainly an important trait of a controller.) And when every cent matters, she’s awfully lucky that Tony offers her a new, FREE briefcase every week!

“Spelling Dan’s last name is like spelling ‘Mississippi:’ P-RR-E-RR-I-RR-A.”
– Kaye Borchers

So someone may have accidentally slipped an extra ‘R’ into Dan Perreira’s name on some shirts we had made. We won’t mention any names, but it starts with an “M” and ends with a “egan.”

Hopefully Dan wasn’t too offended. Come to think of it, if we would add an extra letter or two to some of our other last names here, we could make some improvements:

  • Brian and Wes Goubeaux could become Brian and Wes Goubeauxi. Because really, the only vowel missing in their last names is ‘i.’
  • Ryan Lefeld could become Ryan “Leftfield.” You know, ’cause he’s pretty out there…
  • Mike Goettemoeller could become Mike “Geoetetemeoelelere.” That way there’s an ‘e’ after EVERY letter instead of after just every THIRD letter.

Of course, Megan feels terrible about the extra ‘R.’ To make it up to him, Megan offered Dan a hug. He declined by walking VERY quickly in the other direction.

P.S. The shirt above is a little preview for next week’s Hog Roast and Charity Cup. Hope to see you there on the 26th!

“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…)