Ralph Nader's call for protest lit up the phone at the office of Vice President Dan Quayle with angry citizens urging Quayle to reject a $45,000 pay hike.

"We could barely do our work," one Quayle staffer said of the dozens of calls made Tuesday at the request of Nader, a consumer crusader.The staffer said Quayle's office actually reduced the volume of calls by limiting them to one line.

Standing outside Quayle's office at the Old Executive Office Building, Nader read aloud the vice president's telephone number - "that's (202) 456-2326" - and urged citizens to personally complain about the salary increase for Quayle, House members and other federal workers.

David Beckwith, Quayle's press secretary, laughed nervously when told of Nader's deed and also said, "The vice president will keep the pay raise."

A few hours later, Beckwith reported that the vice president's office had received "a couple of dozen phone calls" from citizens.

"We listened and thanked them and promised to pass their opinion on, " he said.

Nader led an unsuccessful campaign last year to block the pay hike.