How One Young Man Became a Citizen of Watchdog Nation

Mr. Lieber,

My name is Justin Silvia, and I am a student at University of North Texas. You spoke in Dr. Ancona’s class today about becoming a citizen of your Watchdog Nation – and asking questions. Anyway, after class I went to the restroom in the same building (Gateway building) and tried to wash my hands. The problem was that only the hot water worked. I don’t mind warm water, but this water was so hot it could cook pasta. Another student walked in after that, so I decided to be nice and warn him about the scolding water. He explained to me that it had been this way for, “I dunno how long.”  I was outraged.

Dave Lieber's popular button was written about in USA Today.

And with your speech still fresh in my mind, I decided to do something about it. I asked the front desk, who referred me to another desk, who referred me to a manager. I then used your style of telling a story to elaborate how upsetting it was to burn your hands while trying to practice cleanliness, how many people would just stop washing their hands, and how the bathroom would become full of germs because of this simple breakdown in plumbing. Granted, it was probably not as well-spoken as yours was, but it got the job done. They took down my name and number, and said that it would be fixed by next week.

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So to sum everything up, I would like to thank you. I would have been one of the hundreds of people who would have just walked away from the situation, not taking the extra 10 minutes to speak up, ask questions, and create change. I don’t think I have ever said this, or will say this ever again in my life, but…I want to be more like a Yankee, purely in the sense of asking more questions that is. I love Texas. The only thing I love more than Texas is my dog, and the only thing I love more than my dog, is my momma.


WELCOME TO WATCHDOG NATION, JUSTIN. It’s not complicated. This is what it’s all about.

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Are you tired of fighting the bank, the credit card company, the electric company and the phone company? They can be worse than scammers the way they treat customers. A popular book, Dave Lieber’s Watchdog Nation: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong, shows you how to fight back — and win! The book is available at as a hardcover, CD audio book, e-book and hey, what else do you need? The author is The Watchdog columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Visit our store. Now revised and expanded in a 2012 edition, the book won two national book awards for social change. Twitter @DaveLieber

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