Wrong Address

envelope front with sender detailsWhile our postal services generally, sometimes, do their job quite adequately, there are flukes. We do sometime get envelopes addressed to neighbours, or to someone with a similar last name but on a different street.

But the most recent such wrong delivery was more amusing. Because of the sender, the intended recipient, and the type of mistake. You see, this was not sent by a private person, nor was it one of the usual commercial messages. This was an international mail, all the way from Luxembourg. And the sender was NAMSA, a NATO agency.

Yes, NATO. Isn’t that fun? I bet most people don’t get envelopes from NATO at all. I certainly know we didn’t ever. And still, it came. Well, it wasn’t really addressed to us, of course, but those are just details.

The intended recipient, as I said, wasn’t us. Not at all. It was an unnamed acquisition and procurement specialist, in the “IDF technology division”.

envelope back with recipient detailsErr… Except that the IDF doesn’t have anything named “Technology Division”. Instead there’s the “Technological and Logistics Directorate“, better known here as Atal. Or, to be more exact, ATL (in the corresponding Hebrew letters), which is an acronym. A for “Agaf” meaning directorate or division, T for “Technologiot” meaning Technologies, and L for “Logistica” meaning… you got that right, Logisitics. Yes, the base words for Technology and Logisitics are the same in Hebrew, which can give you a clue as to where they were borrowed from. The abbreviation is pronounced as Atal.

Normally I wouldn’t be too surprised that someone over at NATO isn’t aware of the exact way things are organized in our military. But if you send envelopes to someone, it means you have some interaction with them. Which in turn means you have to know who it is that you’re interacting with. So I find their “Technology Division” odd.

The address was indeed in the same city we live in, which explains why it got to the same post office branch. But as to why it arrived to us, that’s a mystery to me. There is no name on the envelope, so someone familiar with us at the post office (Yes, that does happen) couldn’t have gotten confused. There is no street address, so nobody could have delivered it to the wrong house on the right street. There is no house number, so nobody could have delivered it to the right house on the wrong street. All it had was a POB number, four digits, of which two are similar to ours. That would rather be, similar to ours and to plenty of other people’s. There’s a huge limit as to how much variance POB numbers can have.

So someone was sloppy.

In any case, we didn’t open the envelope. Likely it’s also not interesting, since it went from one body dealing in logistics to another. On the other hand, it also went from one body dealing in armament procurement to another. So maybe it was interesting. But the point is moot, we returned the envelope to the post office, so they could deliver it to the intended recipient. Or deliver it yet again to a wrong recipient, but that’s their problem, not ours.

Why it didn’t go through the various diplomatic or military channels is beyond me, though. If you have important (The envelope was marked as priority airmail. Which doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it may) military related material to send, between two military organizations, trusting the usual post seems questionable. And in this case at least was a demonstrably bad idea.

Had there been anything even remotely classified in there, someone might have opened it and read it. The fact that we didn’t doesn’t mean that nobody else would have been curious. And, like I said, we’re not the only people with such a badly matching POB number.

Oh, well…

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