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“Making My Case for a Virtual Secretary”

I genuinely forgot I had scheduled an appointment. Now my screw-up could cost me my client – and my job.

I screwed up. I completely forgot that I had scheduled a swimming lesson with a student at 6:30. When I slipped out of the urban furnace, a.k.a. the NYC subway, I got a message from a lifeguard at the pool. “There’s a client waiting for you, where are you? WHERE ARE YOU?”

I speed-dialed the pool, hoping that the student hadn’t left, but it rang and rang. The worst sound in the world.

By the time I arrived, I was a mess: headphones tangled into a bird’s-nest ball; my winter scarf drenched in sweat; huffing and puffing while carrying two oversized, overstuffed handbags. I raced toward the pool deck like a mad woman, and, once there, the lifeguard eyed me icily.

“She’s gone,” she states, matter-of-factly. It’s like the period at the end of a very long, torturous sentence.

Since this happened (yesterday), the student hasn’t returned my calls, nor have the pool people, who will likely fire me, or write me up.

I wish I had a virtual secretary who would call me and remind me about appointments. I genuinely forgot.

Today I swam, alone and angry in the crowded lane, not wanting to chit-chat with the human mermaids. I wish I didn’t “f” up so much. I stewed in the silence of the chlorine world, and kicked myself again and again.

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