A Beaconite is happy to hear that a director of customer service is to be appointed to “enhance” the government’s Customer Service Care Centre. For whoever is hired, the Beaconite has a suggestion: Ditch the automated answering system that is currently in use. Before that system was implemented, a caller could dial 494-3701 and get a wonderfully helpful operator on the line within two or three rings. That operator would quickly put through the call to any government agency. For a journalist who often needs to contact public officials, that system was extremely helpful. Then came the automated system, which government billed as an improvement in customer service. It wasn’t. Ever since, callers have had to listen to an annoying recorded message and push buttons to speak to an operator — and they often get cut off and have to call again. In other words, the current system was a big step backwards from what previously existed in its place. The Beaconite hopes the new director will fix it.
At the invitation of the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee, a Beaconite recently attended a meetup to collaborate on affairs involving the coming August Emancipation Festival. The reporter appreciated having a forum to plan ahead for an event so important to the territory and believes it will make a difference in being able to deliver the best coverage possible. It’s appreciated when organisers consider how press can get high-quality photos and interviews. While this planning brings back joy-filled memories of hearing poetry about the legacy of the territory and joining the mango-eating competition at the Carrot Bay farmers market, the Beaconite is indescribably excited to experience her first non-virtual Festival.
A Beaconite remembers what it was like to attend her first poker run in 2019. She was amazed
at all the speedboats and the way people dressed up for the event. It was truly a cultural eye-opener for her. This year, she was able to party like residents do while attending the entire event on Sunday (see story on page one). While she isn’t a huge fan of speedboats (she prays for her life each time a boat slams onto the water), she was impressed by the poker run and had a good time.
Luck be a lady
This weekend’s Gaming Night fundraiser for the Humane Society of the BVI drew quite the crowd, and a Beaconite enjoyed volunteering to deal blackjack for the first time. She was slightly nervous considering mental math hasn’t always been her strong suit, but she was lucky to end up with a cheerful group of players who made the evening fly by. She only planned to work for a few hours, but suddenly it was past 1 a.m. and everyone was collecting the last of their chips to spend at the prize table. The reporter is encouraged to see iconic events coming back to the territory with gusto and is happy to see such a show of support for one of the territory’s non-profit organisations.
With the weather becoming hotter and wetter, a Beaconite’s home in Brewers Bay — where she has lived undisturbed for two years except for the roosters, which are another story — has become besieged on almost every side by invading creepy-crawlies. It began with a massive army of ants marching out from behind a cabinet, along the wall, over a doorframe, and along another wall in order to get to a single morsel of forgotten cat food. As soon as one trail was beaten back by a mix of three different sprays, another would take its place coming from an entirely different direction. Finally, after a few days of near-constant battle, it became quiet, only for a whole new volley to start again on Monday. No matter how aggressive she is, the ants seemingly cannot be defeated — only deterred. And that was before Monday morning, when the Beaconite’s housemate took on an angry wasp that decided to build its nest inside the house. She would like to respectfully request a ceasefire from all members of the insect kingdom.