I mailed out a LOT of cards to prospective corporate greeting card clients in September. Some came back undeliverable a few weeks later but it’s late November now and I was stunned to find an envelope in my PO Box returned to sender. But get this. instead of being delivered as it should have been, to a law firm in downtown Vancouver, literally a stone’s throw from where I posted it, it went all the way to Wisconsin. Here’s what I think happened.

The envelope is addressed to the law firm – the same side as the stamp. Logical? Yes.

My return address is on the back of the envelope on the flap, up high. There is no stamp on this side of the letter. The PO Box number in my return address is 53563. The zip code for Milton, Wisconsin is 53563.

My best guess is that this piece of mail was bound for the law firm but I had an old address for the firm written on the envelope. When the envelope went back into the post box to be returned to sender, it probably went through the sorter with the back side  – the side containing my return address – facing up. And for some bizarre reason, instead of sending it back to my PO Box in Vancouver (clearly marked on the flap as PO Box 53563), it was sent to the US. To Milton, Wisconsin.

My question is this. How is it that no set of human eyes saw this error earlier?