The director and his baby dictator
“My 6am alarm clock’s now called Sebastian. He’s the real dictator running the house. It’s on his signal I prepare breakfast for his mother before readying myself on autopilot in a way which requires the least amount of intelligence possible. My breakfast is 2-4 espressos, a sandwich I’ll put together on my 15-minute National Rail to Old Street, and Berocca. Life has changed recently…”
Role: Director of Advanced Systems Architecture at Inmarsat
Mantra: Be efficient. The right amount of time, effort and focus appropriate to the thing you’re doing.
By default, you’ll find Tom Carter depicting a man fresh out of Jermyn Street, fitted in a white Charles Tyrwhitt, tuned into The Naked Scientists podcast or Radio 4 comedy during his commute from Harringay. “And some economics ones, too.”
But his new 8-week old, little Sebastian, takes the full reins of where the 36-year-old now applies his time.
Early in the office means early out. And there’s no getting through a 12-hour work day without some comfortable Barkers on feet, a pre-requisite for working at standing desks all day, which in turn is the only exercise he can afford to fit into his already sardined schedule. “It’s hard to find time without losing any,” after all. “I can’t do more than an hour sitting down. I’m trying to get one for my desk at home, it works wonders for your posture.”
He’s in enough meetings to break up the standing. And the now-time-constrained man who, back in his pomp, you’d find climbing Norwegian mountains in his mother’s homeland, Oslo, is committed to at least start working out again before Christmas, bidding to shed a few before he weds his fiancé next year.
They’re struggling for honeymoon destinations, with copious amounts of travel under their belts pre-Sebastian.
“We used to go nice places all the time – then we had a baby. But having kids at 36 in London is fine, other parts you should have at least three kids by now.”
The work day’s ended, and unless it’s Friday which means a wine or whisky at Inmarsat’s resident bar, The Slug and Satellite; it’s bath time. But not before Tom taps Deliveroo four times and makes a pledge to get home before the food does. As a regular on-demand service user, he loathes leaving the house if he doesn’t have to. “That’s where apps like Ocado, Laundrapp and Hassle come into it. The more things I can sort without leaving the house, the happier I am. Because I’m just here to look after mother and child, to keep the plates spinning.”
After a full day keeping his mother occupied, Sebastian settles in on Tom’s lap for his Dad’s second shift of the day. If it’s not his wife-to-be watching Netflix, it’s probably Attenborough on iPlayer, whose documentaries tie in a little with Tom’s other passion, science. It approaches 11pm, Tom’s shift is coming to a close with outro noise provided by any show on Dave in the background, allowing the future Mrs Carter some hard-earned shut-eye.
“When mother focuses on baby, you just need to make sure everything else is sorted. The laundry’s done, the house is clean, there’s food in the fridge. Not too many visitors. Just make everything else happen so there’s no stress on her time.”