That's a wrong address

August 16, 2018



This story happened at a Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in an Asian country. A local staff, his name is Alex, told me that around the year 2005, a new Home Staff dealing with administrative tasks and personnel named Badu (not his real name) just arrived in the country and began to work at the Consulate.  As a new comer he seemed very diligent in dealing with his jobs.


The Acting Consul General at that time was complaining about a not-so-good local security system in the sense that he had never encountered any single local police car patroling in the surrounding area of his residence since he firstly arrvied 6 months ago. This patroling activities is normally applied to foreign diplomatic premises located in receiving counties as a courtesy to the foreigners especially that of diplomatic community to ensure their security.


In respon to this complaint, Alex was instructed to communicate with local authority concerned asking for patrolling activities to the Consul General’s residence.  For that reason, he asked Mr. Badu on the residence’s address eventhough Badu actually looked very busy in the middle of doing something with his job . “Sir, can I have the residence’s address? I need it to inform local police officer here for patrolling.  Mr. Consul-General has asked me to do it very badly..”


Badu, while keeping on doing his job, directly responded to him with very short answer by only saying,  “Ok, here your are..” and gave a piece of paper with the address written on it.  Afterwards, Alex contacted the local police office to pass the Consul General’s message to have his residence regularly patrolized and also informed the police on the address of the residence. The Police officer responded politely and promised to take it seriously into consideration.


Time had passed by.. and after quite sometime, in a staff meeting, the Consul General revealed his dissapointment by saying that the local police office didn’t pay attention to what he requested to have his residence patrollized. “Up to now, there is no patrolling car passing by my residence. Anybody have opinion on that”, said the Con-Gen.


Without any doubt, Badu, the new comer, gave his opinion with confidence and explained, “It’s very strange, Sir. As far as I know, the police officers here seem to be very caring. They are very active patrolling my residence. Almost every night they passed by my residence’s surrounding area. 


Having heard that, the Consul-General get startled and responded, “What? Really? How could it happen?”


Badu replied, “Yes Sir. But... I will check about this because actually yours must be on priority!”


The explanation took everybody by surprise because it could create impression that Badu’s residence seemed more considerable to have been patrollized than that of Mr. Con-Gen’s residence. There must be something wrong with this. For sometime, everybody kept silence not knowing what to say any word. The Con-Gen raised his voice with anger and stared at Alex, the local staff, and asked him, “Alex, what happened? Why should it be his (Mr. Badu) residence, not mine?”  Have you asked the  police to patrol my residence, haven’t you?


“Yes Sir, I have. I’ve also informed your residence address.. “ Replied Alex.


“But, why his residence, not mine, that has been patrolized? He even just arrived in this country.. Local authority, I assume,  not very familiar yet with him. Is he a kind of VIP or something?” The Consul General asked with more srong intonation.


For that question, Alex looked surprised and got pale on his face while thinking on a possibility occured. And suddenly he came up with an idea, “ Well, Sir... about the residence, may be..may be.. the police took the wrong address, someone’s address, not yours. But, I will check it Sir”


“Okay.. check it right now..!” the Con-Gen answered


Alex in a straight line went out from the meeting room and searching for the address. Luckily, he found the address paper Mr. Badu gave him when he was about to call the police office. He got shocked.. he just realized that the address mention on the paper was not very familiar to him. So, the blame is not on the police side then, but on his shoulder. He admitted he was wrong, but why this adrress? Whose adrress is it?


He hurriedly went back to the meeting room to inform his findings.  Before he spoke any word, the Consul General already asked his question, “So? .. What happened? What’s wrong?”


“Yes Sir, I was right.. I found out that the address I informed the policy was not the right one, It was not your residence’s address.. It was someone's address..I Apologize for that, because I didn’t check it myself..” Said Alex.


“So. Whose address is it?” the Con-Gen reacted..


Everybody starred at Alex cynically, some were even shaking their head. However, the next situation was surprising when the Consul General then asked again, “Alex, how could it possibly happen?. How can you get that wrong address? And, again, whose address is it?” 


Alex got confused and speechless, not because he was not able to answer but on how to answer the question by telling the truth.  Everybody then kept silence for a while. Unexpectedly, Mr. Badu  raised from his seat and said, “ Sir, it was my fault. That’s my residence’s address.”


“What? How come?” Con-Gen curiously said


“When Alex was about to contact the police asking for patroling, he asked me about the address of your residence. I was quite busy at that time so I simply just gave him my address. I misunderstood, Sir. I was wondering at that time, actually, why Alex asked my address to be reported to the police. But then, it was just a curiosity. I taught it’s not a big deal for me. But.. yes, then I just realized.. I was wrong, Sir” Mr. Badu spoke calmly and clearly..


Again, an empty voice turned out in the room, everybody were silent. But actually, they all tried to restrain from smiling.. After quite sometime, while all seemed to wait for the unexpexted more anger voice coming from the Consul General’s mouth, suddenly the Consul General laugh loudly, “Haa..haa..ha... that’s the point.! Ok..ok.. I got it.. Please be more alert for next time and do your job corectly and precisely..” everybody nooded their heads as a sign of loyalty and obedience. 


The Consul General then explained, “Well,  I feel released now..  so, it was you (pointing his finger to Mr. Badu) that willing your residence be patrollized.. ha..ha..ha..” 


Nobody answered at that time until They all went out from the meeting room. Their laughing and excitement suddenly voiced out.  One said with a hard-wearing voice to Mr. Badu, “What do you thing you are, Man.? Be patient,, your are not the boss, yet? No need to ask local police to patrol your residence.”  It seemed they had endless laughs.. except Mr. Badu, of course. He felt embarrassed.  If I were there, I would also laugh..


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