Many of the 750,000 residents of this sprawling industrial city on the shores of Lake Erie are wondering who or what will stop working next.

In the past month, teachers and police have staged walkouts, the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was closed by a major snowstorm, and on Wednesday night the lights went out for 45,000 customers of the Municipal Light Plant.

"I can't understand it. Things shouldn't be like this," said Tina Taylor, a receptionist at a downtown hotel.

In the first week of December, when financial problems prevented the school district from giving out checks, hundreds of teachers stayed away from classrooms, forcing dozens of schools to close until the legislature passed an emergency bill to make the money available.

After a severe snowstorm on Dec. 8, the airport was closed for two days, stranding hundreds of travelers.

Shortly before midnight Dec. 14, less than 12 hours after Police Chief Richard Hongisto was sworn in, about 1,300 patrolmen began a two-day, sickcall walkout to express displeasure at the way contract talks were progressing.

Then Wednesday night, the lights went out for four hours.

"I accept it. It's Cleveland," said Sheryl Shenkelman, a secretary.