When a high profile athlete enters the building for interviews with news crews, many of our staff simply disappear, hoping for an autograph and photo opportunity with the "big star." Such was the case today, when Michael Phelps came for an interview and early dinner at our Fine Dining restaurant in the International Broadcast Center. The culinarians who were supposed to be cooking dinner just vanished and the kitchen, for a time, seemed like a ghost town.
It took quite a bit of pushing, pulling, and prodding to get everyone back into the kitchen to continue their work.
I can admit, I would have liked an autograph and/or a photo op with Phelps as well; but, I am here to do a job and that job comes first. Besides, I don't think it's very professional for us, as staff, to make such a scene. I got to see him from a distance, as he was concluding an interview and was being followed by photographers and TV cameras, but no further attempt to get any closer. My focus was on getting the kitchen back up and running and we couldn't do that and play paparazzi at the same time.