Overtime

Adam Warren George
3 min readAug 9, 2023

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“Love what you do.” That was the inscription written on a notepad by his laptop. It was supposed to inspire him to do just that, love everything he did. He wasn’t sure if it was working, because he found himself not loving what he did sometimes. But people around him said that was normal. They said, you can’t always love what you do. Sometimes work is necessary and we don’t want to do it. It’s okay not to love everything you do.

But he still wondered. There was the inscription. He felt that not loving something was going against the rule.

It had just appeared there. He didn’t write it. His roommate said she didn’t write it either. But who then? Was it meant for him? He was the only one who used that desk, so he imagined it was made for him.

He pondered as he sat in front of the computer screen. Love what you do.

“I don’t love work.” He thought. “Should I do it, or quit. If I quit, then I will not have money to pay rent. I wouldn’t love that. Perhaps the key is to learn to love what you do.” He felt funny interpreting the meaning of the inscription. He didn’t want to sully the meaning from the original author, but he needed to figure out how it all fit together.

He hummed to himself a soft tune. He enjoyed doing that, and he could do his work at the same time. “Maybe that is it. Maybe I am supposed to find out how to best love what I do.” He smiled at his thought.

An email popped into his inbox. He hated doing emails.

He opened it. It was from his boss. It was a new deadline. A pang of anxiety entered his being. He looked at the note on his desk. Love what you do.

He took a deep breath and said to himself, “I got this. I can do this.”

Just then, there was a knock on the office door. It opened before he could say come in.

“Hey Trevor, do you want to eat lunch? I am making sandwiches.” Said Tanya.

He nodded his head and slowly shut his laptop. “I’d love that.”

The two conversed about their work days, and agreed that they hated emails. “I got one just before you came in that changed a deadline to two days sooner. That really threw a wrench in my plans.”

“That sucks, I am sorry.” Said Tanya. She was spreading mayonnaise on some bread.

“Yeah, but it’s okay, I love what I do.” He felt like he was lying, but also felt a sense of dedication to the inscription.

“That’s good.” She cut the sandwich in half. “I am struggling with that right now.” She piled some chips in between the sandwich halves, and handed it to Tyler.

“Thank you.” He said.

She made herself the same sandwich. “Yeah, I am struggling at work. I feel like there is no break.” She was a data analyst.

“Have you thought about different ways to love what you do?” He asked.

“Like what?” She asked.

“Like humming while you work. It seems silly, but it works for me.” He took a bite of his sandwich.

“Hmmm, I can try that.” She took a bite.

“But I get the feeling. Work can be pretty tedious.” He said.

They finished their lunches and went back to work.

The email was still there. He needed to respond to it. He knew that accepting the new deadline meant overtime, but he was salaried. Overtime wasn’t a thing. “What if I say no.” He thought. He didn’t have the backbone, but he needed it. The surprise deadline jump meant he would be working ten to twelve hour days for the two days.

He responded saying he could do it.

He looked down. Love what you do.

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Adam Warren George

I like to write, because I enjoy communicating what I experience. And I like to do it in creative ways, lyrical and poetic prose, not sticking to the path.