In my career as a journalist, I often interviewed important business leaders and government officials, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
I had a brief face-to-face interview with Harper when he was in Toronto to tour a Hindu temple (his eyes are very blue), but typically I would do interviews with government ministers and bureaucrats over the phone. They were just too busy to meet in person. That suited my purposes because I was almost always on deadline and just needed a few quotes from them to complete my story.
However, I had to change my modus operandi when I went to India to write stories for the Toronto Star. None of the VIPs – typically all men – I wanted to interview would consent to chatting over the phone. In all cases, I had to schlep over to their offices, which is no easy feat given India’s traffic chaos, and then endure a lengthy wait for them to become available, although we had an agreed upon appointment time. In Toronto, I could knock off half a dozen interviews in one day. In India, I was lucky to do one.