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@Work: Back and Forth

Oct. 2, 2005 – Missy Kom saw a need and filled it. As owner of Back and Forth, she treks over to St. Thomas from St. John to drop off architectural plans, pick up supplies at Office Max, get tax clearance letters at the Internal Revenue Bureau, and register boats at the Planning and Natural Resources Department.
And, if you're on St. John and want to avoid a visit to the Motor Vehicle Bureau, she'll get your vehicle inspected and complete the registration process.
"No, I don't do grocery shopping," she said emphatically.
However, she'll pick up and deliver just about anything else anywhere on St. Thomas. Trips run $65 for one stop plus $10 for each additional stop.
Kom also does U.S. Customs clearing, an aspect of the job that's especially useful for St. John residents shipping vehicles from the mainland. She also registers the vehicles.
"It's a two-day process," she said.
She said that she's working on getting her Custom House Brokers License, which will help Back and Forth grow even more.
She said she goes to St. Thomas on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as Fridays if necessary. Kom said that even if she only has one stop to make, she always makes the trip.
Kom said that when people wonder how she can be so patient when dealing with government bureaucracy, she points out that she's getting paid. She doesn't have to squeeze these trips in on her lunch hour like most people do.
"When you specialize in it, you get it done faster," she said.
She said that in the year since she started her business, she's gotten to know the people at various government offices and that this helps to make things go more smoothly.
Back and Forth is just ond of Kom's endeavors. She's works mornings as a Scuba diving instructor at Low Key Watersports on St. John. She also has her captain's license, which gives her additional job options.
Afternoons, however, find her making the rounds for Back and Forth.
Kom, 29, arrived on St. John in 1996 from her native Easthampton, New York. She first worked in restaurants, including La Tapa, and then Morgan's Mango before moving on to a post at Consolidated Resources. Consolidated Resources is the parent company for Asolare, Chateau Bordeaux, Chloe and Bernard, and Paradiso restaurants.
Kom said she was doing restaurant work on Long Island when a friend told her about St. John.
"I didn't want to do anymore cold winters in New York," she said, so she bought a round trip ticket, long ago abandoning the ticket's return portion.
Kom said she doesn't have much free time, but when she can she watches the television show "Amazing Race."
"I'm a big fan," she said.
And she does arm chair treasure hunts, an endeavor that helps her expand her mind using things like Morse Code.
Kom can be reached at 776-3408.

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