I once had a news director tell me I was "passionate to a fault."
He wasn't referring to my romantic prowess, but rather my "passion" for the job.
Not really a compliment, but not really a bad thing either.
I love my job. I'm not saying I come skipping happily into work each day. I don't.
Some days, I dread it.
But I love what I do. But some days, getting it done is a real challenge.
I seldom take no for an answer when trying to get an interview.
That's not to say I relentlessly badger a grieving family or someone facing tragedy. I would not do that.
I also accept it if someone tells me straight up, they don't want to talk to me.
But when it's a public figure, or someone I really need to speak to, I simply don't give up.
Take Monday. I needed to interview Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn about a recent DWI arrest involving a jail sergeant.
O'Flynn was at a public event earlier in the day, but we missed him.
I began calling the public information officer for the Sheriffs Office at about 10 in the morning. I sent emails. Left voicemails.
I continued pursuing other interviews for the story, but in the back of my mind, was determined to find a way to speak to the sheriff.
I did think about just going down to the Public Safety Building and waiting for him.
But then something magical happened. I tweeted about my frustration.
Within minutes, the phone rang. First it was the public information officer telling me I was out of luck, the sheriff simply had no time to talk to me today.
I pleaded. I begged. I told the officer my story would be terribly one-sided without the sheriff's perspective.
I asked him to try again. Within minutes, I got another call. This one from the sheriff himself.
I apologized for not catching up with him at an earlier event, and asked if he could make time for me.
He said he had some time before a 3 p.m. event.
We did the interview and the story was much more balanced.
I felt good. Yes, to some it may appear that I am a pain in the ....but you know what?
I wasn't mean or angry. I didn't threaten anyone. I did resort to some groveling, but never lied or misconstrued what I was doing.
I was passionate about getting the interview. I was persistent.
Okay, maybe I am "passionate to a fault." But you know what? It is that passion that drives me to get the interview, get the story and do my job.
That may drive me crazy at times and may irritate those I am calling, but for me, it's all worth it in the end.
Patrice Walsh, Reporter