CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS BACK IN THE DAY. An article in the New York Post reports that the two new stadiums in New York City will use over twice as much electricity as the ballparks they are replacing. It’s because of “hi-def TV screens, huge scoreboards and extra elevators, escalators and lighting.” Which reminds me of a story. When I began to practice law in the late 60’s, a number of young lawyers were crowded into a large room. While dealing with public and private bureaucracies we encountered the same kinds of problems that people encounter today with automated phone systems–only we were dealing with live people. We had a contest going to see what was the most connections to different people it would take to get an answer to a question. One of the Wall Street banks led with a figure in the mid twenties. One day one of the lawyers announced that he was going to complain to Con Edison about his own phone bill. Con Ed was having a lot of trouble with its billing at the time, and he had good grounds for complaint. He told us, I know how this is scripted. Whoever I get will ask me what appliances I have and will tell me that that explains the bill. He called. There was a pause. He started listing appliances, and then he grinned at us and added, “And I live near Shea Stadium and for night games they run an extension cord over to our apartment to light the stadium.” There was a pause. He hung up triumphantly and told us, “She said that explained it.”

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