An Olympic distraction

Posted on 02. Aug, 2012 by

“Mom, why do you have to go to so many meetings this week?” my 7-year-old asked. “Why so many phone calls?”

I explained to her that I cover county commissioners and this is their “busy season” (a.k.a. budget season).

“What? Don’t they know it’s the Olympics?” she asked, exasperated.

I have wondered that very thing all week. The effective tax rates aren’t exactly holding my attention when Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are in the pool or Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Weiber take to the uneven bars.

A Smart Money blog post on Monday said the U.S. workplace could lose $650 million during the Olympics, and most of the loss would come from employees watching the games during working hours. The post said a survey (commissioned by Captivate) indicated 12 percent of American workers said they planned on watching the Olympics at the office, and a similar survey by Yahoo! Sports said it could be as high as 43 percent.

I have not watched any of the games at the office, but I might have wasted a little time discussing the various contests with my coworkers. Not to mention I’ve been bleary-eyed a few days after staying up late to catch those last few events broadcast for the night. If I have accomplished anything this week, it has been with the Olympics going in the background.

Even now, while writing this, I just watched Gabby win the All-Around, and I’m sure I’ll have a good sports cry when she gets her medal shortly.

It’s really too bad I can’t cover the Olympics, but I’m probably out of luck … unless, of course, a county commissioner one day qualifies in platform diving or ping pong. (It could happen.)

In the meantime, I best dig back into that budget … I think I have a story or two due tomorrow.

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