Twenty-four-year-old Indonesian copywriter Mita Diran collapsed to the floor and slipped into a coma on Sunday. She died a short time later. The NY Daily News reports that Mita had spent weeks working without much sleep and drank excessive amounts of energy drinks just to keep up with her intense work schedule. Mita was an avid Twitter user and often tweeted about her long hours at work. Her last tweet, on Dec. 14, read, “30 hours of working and still going strong.”
A man believed to be Mita's father posted a message on the social networking site Path implying that his daughter died after working three days straight. “Since last night until now my daughter who is a copywriter in Y&R lay in coma in RSPP,” he wrote. “Chances are not very good. She collapsed after continuous working overtime for three days last night. Working over the limit.” Mita worked for Young & Rubicam Indonesia (Y&R), an advertising agency that employs 6500 people in 90 countries. The Indonesia office, where Mita worked, closed its doors on Monday to attend her funeral and encouraged the company’s followers to observe a “day of silence” in support of Mita's family.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we have to inform you we have lost our friend, sister, and work colleague, Mita Diran, earlier this evening. Mita was a talented copywriter with a gentle smile who will always live on in our hearts,” the company wrote on its Facebook page. “We have been to Mita's family residence tonight and expressed our sincere condolences on behalf of Y&R Group Indonesia. It is a great loss and we wish Mita's family the faith and strength in each other in going through this extremely difficult time.”
Still, onlookers — who either follow Mita on social networks or have read her story on numerous news outlets — have found the company’s condolences to be too little, too late. In postings on Twitter and Tumblr, the young copywriter referenced being overworked several times. For instance: “The more you spend time at the office, the more you consider moving your bed here. Preferably next to the fan,” she said in one post, according to the Epoch Times. “First day back at work after being sick for three days, and I spend over 12 hours at the office,” she said in another. “Haven’t slept since Saturday and I have 30 more copy lines to go and a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon,” she said on July 8.
Unfortunately, Mita is just the latest in a series of employees to have died in connection with apparently being overworked. In May, 24-year-old agency employee Li Yuan dropped dead in his office from “work-related exhaustion.” And in March, Ohio nurse Beth Jasper worked excessive hours before getting into a car crash that killed her. Her husband is now suing the hospital where she worked, claiming she was “worked to death.”