Social network Twitter has been abuzz with the death of Mita Diran, a young copywriter for Young & Rubicam in Indonesia after working non-stop for three consecutive days.
In her last Tweet on December 14, she said: “30 hours of working and still going strooong.”
According to a screen cap that has been shared on the Internet, her father Yani Syahrial – an Executive Creative Director, said that his daughter was in a coma after working continuously for three days, and that she had been working over her limits.
An hour later, another employee said that Mita had passed away due to a lethal combination of being overworked and excessive consumption of Kratingdaeng – the Thai version of Red Bull, an energy drink consumed by many when required to stay awake during long hours.
Many mourn the death of Mita, who has been described as quirky and cheery with a strong Malaysian connection, having studied and worked here for a period of time before returning to work in Indonesia.
Mita’s death so close to the holiday season is an ugly reminder of how so many individuals are being worked to the bone at the cost of their life for the sake of work. While we as employees owe it to ourselves to lead a healthier, more balanced life and know our limits - employers definitely need to step up and take more responsibility over the welfare of their staff by not encouraging overtime for the sake of profit.
Let us all take a moment to pray for Mita’s family and friends, and may she rest in peace. Another one gone too soon.