Katia Moskvitch

“Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.” Frank Zappa.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Running after Mike Crawley from AIM PowerGen Corporation

When I first contacted Mike, the president and CEO of one of the most known Canadian wind power developers, on the phone he seemed to be a pretty nice guy. Polite. Friendly. We set up a meeting for 4pm on a Thursday, and I told him I'd appreciate if we could film right at 4 only because the sun goes down at around 5:30 in the winter. He was perfectly fine with that.

The construction site of Port Burwell, where wind turbines are being installed, is about an hour from London by car. So I found a classmate who would drive me there (I didn't have a car) and help me film.

When we got to the construction trailer, I was in a great mood. It was starting to get a bit windy and snowy, but was still ok for filming. With a big smile, I knocked at the trailer's door.

The guy who opened the door said his name was Art, and that he was the site manager. He told me Mike was not going to be there that day, and that he almost never comes to the site. I told him I was supposed to meet Mike at the constcuction site, and would really appreciate if he (Art) could take us there. He gave us a pair of huge construction boots each, goggles and hard hats. And told us to follow him.

By the time we got to the construction site, it started snowing. Mike wasn't there. We tried calling him, he wouldn't answer. Art kept saying something like: "Ooh, I donno guyzz... Mike is never here... And you never had any safety orientation..." For him, it wasn't enough to see us all dressed up like clowns in those boots, hats and goggles. I was beginning to loose temper.

We went back to the trailer, and I called Mike once again. "Oh, Katia? I'm sorry, I just had a board meeting! I'll be at the site in 5 min!"

Back at the site, we waited for him for at least 20min. It was snowing very heavily now, and getting dark, too. Finally, he showed up... with four cars following him. He brought his board members with him on a tour. At the same time that he was supposed to meet me for an interview. I was shocked.

I told him it was not going to work out. It was way too dark and snowy. We had to reschedule. He promised that next time he would spend at least three hours on the site with me. He said it'd be next Tuesday.


It takes an hour to go to Port Burwell from London, Ontario. And an hour to get back. I wasn't too happy about going back to Port Burwell, but I knew I had to.

So I called Mike on Monday to confirm about me coming on Tuesday, the following day. He said he'd be there at 2pm. We said "See you tomorrow" to each other, and the next day, I was in Port Burwell again.

When I entered the trailer, Art met me. Same as the first time, he looked very surprised to see me. "Mike? He is not here today, and won't be here. He told me you were coming tomorrow!"

It was getting ridiculous. I called Mike's cell phone. Sure enough, the guy was in Toronto. He thought we were meeting tomorrow. Even though I called him yesterday to confirm! I was mad, I did not want to come back to Port Burwell again. So I suggested interviewing Art, and filming him around the construction site. I knew he was a little slow, but it was better than having to drive here agian the next day. Mike spoke to him on the phone, and Art started getting ready.

When we were about to exit the trailer, a back office door opened and a big, angry-looking person stormed out of it. "He is not going anywhere!" he screamed. "I'm the company director, and he has to listen to my odrers! We are way too busy, and I can't have him wandering around! Art, you are staying here!"

When I tried to explain that I was a journalist, that it was second time I was being stood up, that I just can't come back here again, he wouldn't listen. Art couldn't do anything. Mike wasn't there. And I had to go back to London.


No, I didn't give up. I had to get my story. I went back there the next day. Mike was half an hour late, but he did show up. And I finally got my footage.

But I'm never dealing with those people again!