“I can still remember how excited I was on my first day of work, walking into the Eastern District Office,” recalls Fran Goble, senior billing analyst at SDG&E. The year was 1959, the same year NASA introduced America’s first astronauts to the world, and Xerox launched its first commercial copier.
In November, Fran and her colleagues celebrated her 60th anniversary with our company. One thing that’s remained unchanged over the past six decades for Fran is her enthusiasm for her job and working at SDG&E.
The Early Days
Fran was hired as a “Power Bookkeeper B,” which entailed various administrative tasks, including maintaining a database of paper customer files; typing out individual customer letters, one-by-one; working the switchboard to answer calls; and returning to her typewriter at the end of each day to type up the daily cash balance sheet.
In the early days, what Fran enjoyed the most about her job was the tightknit office atmosphere.
“It was like a small family with a work hard, play hard mentality,” she said. “We all got together on a regular basis on weekends. There was a company softball team, a bowling league, and so many other fun work functions that brought us together, all the time.”
60 years in the Same Lane
During her 60 years with the company, Fran has held just about every billing role at SDG&E. She loves mentoring other employees and helping to make the billing department a place where other people want to work.
“I really enjoy working with employees who are early in their careers to help them learn the billing process. Working around younger generations helps keep my mind going,” she said.
Jennifer Skeen, customer operations support supervisor at SDG&E, is one of the people who has benefited from Fran’s willingness to share her experience and expertise.
“Without her knowledge and patience, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Jennifer said. “She always wants to do the right thing for the company and for our customers, digging through tariffs, reaching out to account executives, or looking through her enormous binder of notes to ensure an account is set up and billing correctly.”
Decades of Change
While technology, systems and processes have come and go, Fran’s approach to change over the years has been a constant. At the start of 2020, her experience will have touched eight decades, starting in the late 1950’s when she joined the company.
“Through it all, she has remained positive and flexible, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to do what’s best for the company,” said Fabio Bottalico, manager of customer billing at SDG&E.
“Having Fran on the team is a daily reminder to take each day as a learning opportunity,” said Jocelyn Grace, billing supervisor – Net Metering. “She’s all smiles every time you talk to her which shows how much she cares about and enjoys her job.”
Pulling Together For the Same Company
Another person who could tell you a thing or two about Fran is her husband, Ron Goble, senior substation designer at SDG&E, who has worked for the company for 48 years. The two have carpooled to and from work every day for nearly 50 years, long before doing so was promoted as an environmentally responsible thing to do.
“She loves to read, so I keep my eyes on the road and she reads to help pass the time,” said Ron, who pulls the car around to pick Fran up each day.
Together, Fran and her husband have worked a total 108 years for SDG&E.