It's working for Jeff Faile
District of Columbia
“There are a lot of dads in my line of work that don’t have it as well as I do, but I think it’s a combination of the company you work for and sometimes you have to make time for the kid as well. I definitely do that. And still, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. He’s a cool kid.”
For Jeff Faile, it was a busy time. At the same time his restaurant group was opening Partisan, a restaurant in downtown D.C., his wife gave birth to their son, Cody, and his father went in for open-heart surgery. “I had a lot going on,” Jeff explained. “It was hard. It was very, very hard.”
He took two weeks off to be with his family, “I told my boss I could ease my way back in. But the opening of the restaurant on the bar side wasn’t going as well, so I had to work more hours. Physically and emotionally it was one of the toughest things I had to do. It was very difficult leaving the little guy behind. Still is, it hasn’t gotten any easier.”
He and his wife, Nicole, both worked in the restaurant industry, with widely varying schedules. “My job has evolved with having 11 different bars that I run back and forth with, it’s definitely more of a corporate role now without as many late nights as a bartender would have,” he explained. “My wife would go in at 4 p.m. We had a nanny that would come over and watch Cody, then I would be in charge until my wife came home around midnight or 2 a.m.” Cody sometimes refused to take a bottle, making it difficult for Jeff to soothe him. “There were a couple of nights I was trying to keep him calm, rocking him for a couple of hours until my wife came home and she could feed him. We aren’t ships in the night, but we definitely have a different schedule and the nanny fills in the cracks.”
Nicole decided to leave the restaurant industry and went into real estate. She found a job with better hours that allowed her to work from home more often.
“It’s better for our schedule. She works a lot at home right now, that gives a lot of flexibility for hanging around the house and doing a lot with Cody. Our nanny still comes over around 2 or 3 p.m. My son really loves the nanny. She is amazing with him. She is almost part of the family at this point.”
Jeff credits the restaurant industry with creating his ability to adapt to situations quickly. “Both of us are used to things changing on the fly. We’re very flexible as far as rearranging things, having a wonderful nanny really helps out.”
And his boss has been supportive, something Jeff knows he is lucky to have.
“My boss has kids, including a young daughter. When I said I couldn’t come back full time right away, he was more than willing to take that. It’s been great. Whenever all those doctors appointments came up, it was fine to schedule, he would fill me in later. It was fantastic, really.”
Jeff continued, “There are a lot of dads in my line of work that don’t have it as well as I do, but I think it’s a combination of the company you work for and sometimes you have to make time for the kid as well. I definitely do that. And still, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. He’s a cool kid.”