Apr 9, 2019
Francis Robichaux has almost four and a half decades of experience in the energy industry, yet he still welcomes the new challenges that each day may present as a learning opportunity. With a mind on safety and helping to develop the skills of his co-workers, it’s sometimes hard for him to believe how much has changed since that day in 1976 when he first embarked on a journey that has turned into a successful career.
Working as a heavy equipment operator in Rayne, Louisiana, he says, “I may not have seen and been through it all, but I’ve seen enough to know a little something.” These words of wisdom have found the ears of many on the frontline as he works alongside welders, technicians and other heavy equipment operators to play their part in helping to deliver natural gas safely and reliably.
“Growing up I was always told you need to love what you do because you're going to be doing it for a long time,” says Francis. “Looking back over my forty-four-year career I like to reflect on all the unique experiences that my job provided me and I can truly say I love what I do.”
Francis is part of a team of highly skilled trades and field operators that is tasked with travelling throughout the U.S. to help safely build and maintain the integrity of the company’s natural gas infrastructure.
Heavy Equipment Operator
The three I’s are something that Francis takes with him on every job he’s assigned. While he says that it begins with the implementation of a plan and initiating it to get the work started, the last “I” (improvise) should not be overlooked.
“In life, not everything is going to go as planned, and the same is true with work,” states Francis. “If plan A doesn’t pan out you need to have a plan B, a plan C, and so on. You must have the mindset to be willing to accept change and adapt on the fly.”
Managing a balance between his job and his life outside of work is something Francis believes has kept him going.
“At some point in our career, I believe everyone will have a learning moment to understand the importance of work-life balance, and how it’s something that needs to be a priority,” says Francis. “When someone asks me what I do, I’m proud to say I’m a heavy equipment operator, but I’m even more proud to say I’m a sports fan, an outdoorsman, a father and an Op’a (grandfather) as well.”