Adrian Demakis sat at his desk, his aristocratic chin rested upon his steepled fingers. He knew that funding a dig for the archeological society was meant to be completely altruistic and philanthropic, but he had always had a problem with giving his money away without receiving something in return for it. Plus, the idea of his money being used to unearth some possibly rare and valuable artifacts was just too intriguing. He had to find a way to become more actively involved.
Picking up the phone, he dialed the head of the Athenian Archeological Society. Surely an old family friend like Nikolas Adreakos would be able to help him out.
"Nico! How are you? Its Adrian!. Yes, yes, I'm doing fine. Listen, I was wondering about that dig I am funding. Is there any way I can drop by and see how things are progressing?"
Kneeling back to lean her weight on her knees, Damaris raised a hand to shield her eyes from the sunlight as she glanced at the watch upon her wrist. Two-thirty and already well over 110 degrees, she thought. Although the day was not to end for another hour and a half, she knew that she could not expect her workers to last much longer in this heat. Already her tank top was soaked with sweat, and the dirt was sticking to her entire body.
Being the Senior Dig Supervisor, it was her job to decide when to push the archeological students, and when to let up. Usually thought of as a hard- ass, expecting much from the students and even more from herself, but even Damaris knew that today, in this heat, people had to come before the deadline.
Calling to the 20 or so students scattered about the site, she drew them in and motioned for them to grab a drink and take a seat among the ruins.
Clearing her parched throat, she began, "I have an announcement to make, and I want you all to remain silent until I am finished. If you hadn't noticed, the heat is particularly cruel today. You all knew that this would be the reality of dig life when you signed up for this program. Having said this, however, deadlines mean nothing if your people are too ill to complete them. For this reason, I am making a few small adjustments to our schedule. When I am finished, the work day will be officially over," seeing joy jump into the eyes of the young people around her, she quickly cast an evil-eye look their way to effectively silence any outburst of emotion, "You may use the rest of the day to relax, go to the beach, etc. Enjoy the time off. Note, though, that this is not the only change. As we get deeper into the summer months, the hotter it will become. Because of this, I am changing the dig schedule. Effective tomorrow, I expect you to report to morning briefings at 6:45am. We will dig until 11am, break for lunch, resume digging at 11:30 and finish for the day at 2:30pm. I realize this means earlier mornings, but believe me, you will appreciate not having to deal with the heat. For now, that's all I have to say. Clean up your areas, deposit your tools in the bins, and you are free to go."
At that, the students began clapping and whooping as they cleaned up and prepared to head back to their apartments. The day was indeed hot and they were glad for the reprieve. Damaris was a hard supervisor, but she was always fair, and they knew that regardless of the weather, she would be hanging around the site long after they had all left.
As the other students were packing up, glad to have an afternoon free to themselves, one of the group slowly approached Damaris where she was studying some artifacts.
Cuddy was a tall and lanky fellow, an Art History major from the University of British Columbia. As the Student Site Overseer, he was the next in command after Damaris.
"Hey, Damaris! You heading out or what?," he asked as he approached.
Looking towards him, Damaris replied, "No, I want to catalog these artifacts first. Then I've got to write up a report about my schedule change for the committee. Why?"
"Come on Damaris, you can't let everyone leave if you've still got hours of work ahead of you. Here, let me help." Cuddy reached to pick up a small jar, but his actions were halted with a sharp look from Damaris.
"Cuddy, don't. I've got it under control." Her tone was clipped and tinged with frustration.
Throwing his hands up in surrender, he nodded. "Okay, okay. You've got it. But don't stick around too long. You can get just as sick from overexposure to the sun as everyone else."
Looking up to him, Damaris sighed. She knew that it had been wrong of her to snap at Cuddy. He was a good person, an excellent motivator for the students. She just had a problem with giving up control over her projects. She wanted, needed, everything to be absolutely perfect.
"Cuddy, listen, I'm sorry. I think this heat is getting to me. I just want to get this done and then I won't feel like we've fallen way behind on the schedule." Seeing the sad look that crossed his face, she added, "Thank you, though. Just go and enjoy the beach for the afternoon. Heck, I'm even thinking of going there after I'm done."
Cuddy gave her a weak smile. He knew that she wouldn't finish in time to go to the beach and that she was only saying it to make him feel better. In the past three weeks, he had come to admire and respect his boss, but he also worried for her.
At 23, she acted so much older than her years. There was something about her that made him think she had lived a very hard life and that it had permanently changed her, making her into the perfectionist she was.
But, thinking it best to leave well enough alone, he bid her goodbye and headed to catch up with his fellow student workers.
Damaris, on the other hand, became lost in her work, gingerly inspecting each piece before meticulously jotting it down into the catalog. She was so engrossed that she became completely unaware to what was happening around her.