Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

“I don’t want to break my streak now.”

– Jeff Kunk


If we go waaaaay back into Choice One lore, there’s a mystical legend that Jeff Kunk has never bought doughnuts for the entire company. See, there’s a rule here: when you receive your first paycheck as a new employee, you buy doughnuts for everyone. Seriously—it’s in the new employee guidebook. According to the tale, Jeff Kunk never bought doughnuts when he started at Choice One, and hasn’t bought doughnuts ever. The rest of us have bought them. Poor Tyler has co-oped here three times and bought doughnuts each time (he’ll whine about—er, tell you about it if you ask…).

Anyhow, when we had six co-ops/summer help and one new full-time employee this summer who all started around the same date, we didn’t want 12 dozen doughnuts here at once. Logically, we needed a doughnut schedule. The author of this schedule, knowing that Kunk STILL owes doughnuts from 1994, added him to the top of the list. As you can see, the schedule was revised and enhanced, as well, in hopes that Kunk would come to his senses and pay up

The moral of the story? If at first your don’t succeed (getting Kunk to buy doughnuts), try, try, and try again. The outcome of the story? Jeff Kunk STILL hasn’t bought doughnuts. And as evidenced by his quote above, never will.

Wes Goubeaux: “When’s the last time anyone’s seen Greg run?”

Jeff Kunk: “When he broke his leg.”

Kaye Borchers: “Gym class.”

gregyoung kayeyoung

Not everyone enjoys running. Jeff Puthoff has been known to call running “boring,” much like baseball. Based on the fact that few of us have seen Greg run, one could assume that Greg finds it boring, too. Kaye would know: of all Choice One-ians, she’s known Greg the longest: they were classmates for 13 years in Fort Loramie Schools.

It’s nice to work with someone you’ve known your whole life. You know their family, history, likes, dislikes, etc. For instance…

  • Greg knows that Kaye had a passion for horses and unicorns in elementary school. Kaye knows that Greg had a passion for Reba McEntire.
  • Greg remembers Kaye before braces and Lasik. Let’s just say thank goodness for orthodontia.
  • Kaye remembers embarrassing things Greg has done. Like hitting a raised manhole in his parents’ backyard with his car, deploying the airbag. That manhole has always been there, Greg. It’s still there–Kaye now lives next door to Greg’s parents and can confirm that she laughs every time she sees it.

While they have some different interests (Kaye enjoys running, while, based on his frequency, we’ll assume Greg doesn’t), Greg and Kaye get along. There’s obviously way too much dirt they could dish on each other should one decide to turn on the other. So Greg, no need to pull out any big-glasses-and-crooked-teeth photos of Kaye. And Kaye, no need to get out the photos of Greg wearing his Reba shirt every week in sixth grade.

“Joey Votto will not be worth that much money.”

– Tony Schroeder


Tony has a knack for making extreme claims about immaterial subjects that are entirely against public consensus, are unfounded on substantial facts or common sense, and typically end up being entirely wrong. Whether or not Joey Votto (first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds) will be “worth that much money” someday is still up in the air since he’s only two years into a 10-year, $225-million contract, be we hear he’s pretty good. At least the 5,128,515 All-Star votes he received this year seems to indicate some kind of talent.

Of course, the folks around here have been known to make other statements that proved untrue in the long run. For instance, Fort Loramie native Brian Barhorst said he’d never move to Minster (which he then did in 2003). Half a dozen guys around here swore they would never get married and have eaten their words. We once said “We’ll never open a second location.” Yet two years after opening, the Loveland office is going strong.

Finally, the granddaddy of them all: Tony once stated, when first drafted by the NBA that “LeBron James will not amount to anything.” Maybe the coverage on ESPN was mistaken, but didn’t some team that James is on win some championship recently? While we’ll have to wait and see if Tony is right about Votto, perhaps he can clarify something about LeBron for us: what does “MVP” stand for again, Tony?

“Tyler, can you change your name to ‘Newton’ for the summer? That way we can have ‘Olivia Newton-John’ all working next to each other in one office.”
– Andy Shuman

Calling Tyler “Newton” wouldn’t be much of a stretch (and not just because he’s a self-proclaimed genius). We have several nicknames here, although some are not very self-explanatory:

  • “Barney” – Brian Barhorst acquired this nickname long before the inception of Choice One. He claims he doesn’t remember where it came from, but that he was given the nickname in the third grade. Anyhow, with three Brians, it’s an obvious way to single him out. In fact, many of our clients call him “Barney” as well. And no, the nickname has nothing to do with the singing purple dinosaur, but sometimes we question it.
  • “M. John” – Matt’s traffic engineer persona/superhero name. Faster than a car through a yellow light, he can clear gridlock in a single bound!
  • “Not Nick” – If you’ve ever seen our plans, you may have noticed that we tag everything with initials. Nick Selhorst arrived here about a year ago and created a problem we’d never had: duplicate initials. Nick Selhorst’s initials, NJS, were the same as incumbent Nick Sanders’s initials. So we deemed Nick Selhorst “Not Nick Sanders,” and his initials have been NNS ever since.
  • “Michael Soft Hands” – During an early co-op, before he was a full-time engineer at Choice One, Michael Seeger worked on the survey crew for a time. As is typical, Jeff “Shorty” North (that nickname IS self-explanatory) made Michael do all the sledge-swinging, and he got blisters–hence his “soft hands.”

Clearly, nicknames here at Choice One generally come from some form of teasing. Basically, if you’ve embarrassed yourself, you have a nickname. Needless to say, it’s not long after you arrive at Choice One before you have a nickname due our general unusualness, clumsiness, or ridiculousness. For, as you may have noticed, we have no “Einstein” or “LeBron” here.

“Sometimes you walk into the craziest conversations here. You just look ahead and keep walking.”

– Nick Sanders


Between Megan recently being nine months pregnant* and not afraid to share (Wes has a habit of accidentally wandering into these conversations), Brian Schmidt cursing at his computer (and startling the co-op in the Loveland office with him), and Kaye’s recent purchase of a four-foot concrete Sasquatch as a gift for her husband (the nine-year wedding anniversary is the concrete anniversary, right?), there are certainly some interesting dialogs here at Choice One. Yep, all these Mindset quotes are quite real…

Nick’s advice is pretty good, but if you feel inclined to listen, you might learn a few things from the random discussions around here. Perhaps you’ll hear about the finer points between a lunch of Al’s Pizza versus Cassano’s Pizza. Maybe you’ll overhear all of the “sick” new terms Tony and Brittany are picking up from marketing intern and Chicago-area native John. Or, with luck, you’ll hear how quickly Nick Selhorst can move his feet while dancing “Gangnam Style” at his wedding this past weekend (congrats Nick!).

Despite what you may hear, civil engineers aren’t always boring and technical. You just have to walk into one of our conversations to prove it. Just keep in mind, though, that’s it’s probably best to look ahead and keep walking.

*Megan and her husband Andy welcomed to their family a healthy baby girl, Drew Elizabeth, on Tuesday, June 11. Congratulations Bornhorsts!

“So Kaye, how do we enter answering all of these phones calls on our timesheet?”

– Megan Bornhorst

Much to the delight of her coworkers, Kaye embarrassed herself by mistakenly emailing a $250 sponsorship invoice to 660 members and contacts of the I-70/75 Development Association, which she sits on the board of. About 50 of those contacts (rightfully) called Choice One to talk to Kaye regarding the erroneous invoice. All at once.

Thankfully for Kaye, Megan and Brittany stepped up and answered the calls, apologizing over and over to confused (and, thankfully, understanding) invoice recipients. Brian Barhorst even fielded a call from the Governor’s Office.

This begs the question that if we need a time code for “Answering phone calls for Kaye’s slip up,” then perhaps there are a few more new time codes we might need around here:

  • Guessing/discussing the gender and arrival date of Megan’s baby. (due June 11!)
  • Helping Tony find his glasses. Or coffee cup. Or remember why he walked to your desk to talk to you.
  • Predicting how Nick Sanders might next injure himself.
  • Picking on Michigan fans.

In closing, what has Kaye learned? 1) Check the “Recipient” list a little more thoroughly before sending out invoices for the Association, and 2) If you want to get the Governor’s attention, send his office a fabricated $250 invoice.