311 marks 20th anniversary with list of amusing ‘calls to remember’
New York City’s 311 program celebrated 20 years of service Thursday with a report that included an amusing list of 20 “calls to remember.”
One user in 2004 called to file a noise complaint against their refrigerator. A 2013 caller asked if there was a law against flushing the toilet too many times.
“A raccoon is eating lasagna on my porch,” one New Yorker complained to 311 operators in 2014.
Earlier this year, someone asked to be connected to a “UFO-ologist.”
In some cases, it seems callers may have meant to dial 411, which AT&T eliminated in January for digital landline customers.
“How do I cook a turkey for Thanksgiving?” someone asked in 2016.
“How long does a baseball game last?” another asked in 2008 when the Yankees and Mets both went 89-72 but failed to make the playoffs.
In 2005, a caller inquired about “the steps for boiling a live chicken.”
Since its first call on March 9, 2003 — a noise complaint in Jackson Heights, Queens — 311 has fielded 359 million phone calls and assisted 525 million people overall, after figuring in mobile app and website exchanges.
“Can you check if my boyfriend is married?”
“Who won ‘American Idol’?”
“Can I claim my dog as a dependent on my taxes?”
Callers have also asked who makes the best pizza near their house on multiple occasions.
“Since its launch two decades ago, NYC311 has become an indispensable resource for New Yorkers looking to make a noise complaint, report a cleanliness issue, learn whether alternate side parking is in effect, and so much more,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.
That includes the person who called in 2015 to report a ghost in their window, as well as a 2003 incident where a cat was “terrorizing someone through a screen door.”
The most common grievances of 2022 were fairly reasonable. They included calls about towed vehicles, parking issues and residential heat and maintenance complaints. But there’s always going to be the occasional oddball.
“I’d like to report my neighbor for waving to everyone on the block,” one caller complained in 2018.