For Betty this was the third time the company had messed with her plans. Having been preparing for her mother's birthday for close to a month it seemed that time would be wasted. Due to heavy cuts in revenue, after a PR disaster, many employees were let off. The remained work was passed on to two other employees that needed to work overtime to meet an unfair deadline. No matter what, Betty would end up working through her weekend, skipping her mother’s birthday. Not to mention the weekends that followed, with the second employee, Steven.
The weekend before her mother birthday and the start of their overtime work, the two arrived at the office and sat at their desks that weren't too far apart. Betty watched Steven out of the corner of her eye to see if he would react angrily to working on something as trivial as this, but Steven was just another corporate robot in Betty's eyes. His non-reaction proved it. He sat at his desk as sternly as he always did and tapped at his keyboard without pause for the next three hours.
Betty followed suit until around lunch when the two retired to the break room. Betty sat across from Steven and the two discussed the work. Figures of late reports were exchanged in monotone conversations and soon Betty was bored to tears and decided to talk about plans and eventually her mother’s birthday she would miss. Steven didn't seem to be interested at all in her off-work appointments and ate silently without response. Betty rolled her eyes and followed suit. She hated people who put work first over family and despite her desperate need to keep the job, she hated herself too.
The two returned to work and began tapping at their keyboards till the end of the day. Betty collected her things and began to walk out, but noticed Steven still sat at his desk. Glancing over his shoulder Betty could see he was only halfway into his report and she grit her teeth. At the rate he was working the two would barely make their deadline. Feeling too tired to snap at him, she grunted and left for home.
The Sunday that followed was the same story, Steven already at work, dressed as smartly as yesterday in his formal shirt and tie. Betty decided to ignore him, because if she focused on his work she would never get through any of hers. Sitting at her desk, she sighed and began to work. The end of the day was rolling by and the two were starting to show their fatigue. Steven slouched and Betty yawned until tears welled up in her eyes and she hand to rub them away with the end of her sleeve. Once more, she ignored the robot and went home.
Betty found it difficult to sleep. She argued for the briefest of moments on why that was before settling on the obvious. Work played hell on her and she couldn't even imagine staying overtime for the next three weeks everyday and all weekend. After two hours of forcing herself to sleep her mind finally gave up and let her have her rest. Ignoring the pain she felt, Betty slept as soundly as she could only to wake up a few hours later and start Monday off feeling almost ill. It was worse to work in a full office because she could hear everyone else tapping away happily, fresh and well-rested after such a relaxing weekend. Betty took small note that Steven seemed to be as tired as her.
The Monday rolled into a painful Tuesday where Betty felt herself getting ill. Something about this repetitive work made her feel dizzy, so she decided to leave work and lunch time and buy an energy drink. As she rose she asked Steven if he would like one. He smiled and accepted gratefully. Betty's frustration towards Steven subsided when she saw he shared the same tired eyes with purple bags as her. The two worked into overtime and once more Betty made her way home.
Tuesday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Thursday and finally Friday arrived. For Betty it just became another day, so while others celebrated making it through another week she thought about her mother's birthday this Sunday and sighed sadly. She was able to finish a report every day since this started, managing a total of seven and if Steven had done the same the two would still be her for another week. Entering overtime the two tapped sadly in their dimly lit office until Steven leaned back into his chair and sighed with exhaustion.
"How are you doing, Steven?" Betty asked reaching the end of her report. "Work hitting you hard too?"
"I am inclined to agree," Steven replied with a small, tired laugh in his voice. "You doing anything tomorrow?"
Betty grimaced at the back of Steven's head at the question and returned to ignoring him. She felt it wasn't necessary for him to be mocking of the situation, especially since he was in the same boat. With a few final taps at the keyboard Betty signed off her seventh report and clicked the 'next' button to open the eight, but was met with a dull negative sound. Reading small green writing at the bottom of the software she saw that the reports were finished. Steven stood beside her desk having collected his things and Betty saw that his clothes were crinkled, his eyes bloodshot and tired and his smile half-hearted.
"I'm thinking coffee," Steven murmured scratching his cheek which was darkened by the shadow of a beard.
"Steven..." Betty began, her first word already grateful.
"Nobody likes to work on the weekend, especially me," Steven joked and walked over to the exit with Betty by her side.
"What time?" Betty asked walking beside Steven happily. Despite having received her free time so soon her mother's birthday was not on her mind.
"How about seven-ish in the evening," Steven suggested. "I think I might sleep in."