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Call Sign August 2011
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Either write to Call Sign at
PSA test
Dial-a-Cab House or email us
Hi Alan
I spoke to Allen Togwell around two months
at - callsignmag@aol.com
ago about my PSA test and last month I got my
Leaving gift?
results - the bi-op was clear! It seems that I
have severe inflammation on my prostate,
Dear Alan
which may be the reason my PSA reading was
Almost 20 years ago, I made a suggestion at an
as our saving grace anymore. We know Brian
high. In fact the info Allen gave me about rea-
AGM that when any Dial-a-Cab driver who had
agrees, he has more or less said so in the past
sons the PSA can be high were exactly what
been on the circuit for over ten years was on
and I just think it would be nice to hear every
the doctor also told me.
the verge of retirement from the trade, that the
Board member's opinion individually.
Can I say here how good it was to talk to
Society made their last four months free of any
How many of our loyal accounts will remain
Allen Togwell about my problem and I can
subscriptions. Do you know what happened to
as the likes of AL continue to grow and
honestly say after speaking to him that I felt
this idea because I thought I remembered a
become noticed everywhere - just like we used
much better whilst waiting for the results. I
driver benefitting from the suggestion?
to be and undercut us by a long way and
know Allen has written in Call Sign about
Changing the topic, can I also say how lucky
their reputation is sound?
prostate problems and I hope he continues to
we have been over the past 15 years to have a
John Stowers (K40)
do so because I think his advice was a tremen-
Chairman as good as Brian Rice. The majority
Thanks for the letter John. If I passed it
dous help for me and could be for our mag's
of those 15 years have seen this Society going
over to Brian Rice, your answer wouldn't
readers as well.
from strength to strength, but the mettle of a
be much different because there isn't
My sincere thanks again to Allen Togwell...
really good leader is how they operate when
another answer. Your letter is factual but
Ken Hardy (G36)
the business climate is not so good. Even dur-
what it doesn't have is an answer. Nothing
Since writing about problems involving
ing this worst of recessions, when businesses
we say will make AL smaller and there is
the possibility of prostate cancer and of
were collapsing around us, we haven't done
little we can do about that. As you read
the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test,
too badly at all. I do not believe that the taxi
exclusively in the last issue via the internal
Allen Togwell has had several drivers con-
business has ever seen a better leader than
letter we came across from Ford, AL have
tacting him by phone concerning prostate
Brian. It is the easiest thing in the world to
ordered 1200 new Galaxies most of
problems prompted by Allen's articles on
blame someone else when things aren't going
which have now been delivered. They are
the topic in Call Sign and later reprinted
so well, but Brian Rice and the Board have
probably already as big as us, with every
on various internet sites. Ken Hardy was
kept us going with not even the smallest sign
driver in an identical vehicle but not
one of those drivers and according to
of a return to those bad old days of the late-
allowed to pick up off the street, therefore
Allen, he unsurprisingly sounded rather
1980s when this company was almost on its
a much higher percentage of their work
stressed. Allen assured him that there
knees.
will be covered because human nature
were a number of reasons for a high PSA
Brian doesn't always get the appreciation
being what it is, many of our drivers will
reading that were not cancer related.
that he deserves and I offer that appreciation.
pick up a street hail rather that run a mile
Happily for Ken, that's exactly what hap-
I also suspect that many others would like to
to pick up a trip that is struggling in the
pened ...Ed
say the same thing, but consider offering praise
bids.
Exclusive accounts?
as being a bit woosey!
And there's your answer! What do we
Also, I have just finished reading the excel-
have other than service because you are
Hi Alan
lent July issue of Call Sign, but I just wanted
right, John, loyalty won't last forever. We
In response to Brian Rice's answer to my letter
to talk about one particular item. On page 23,
do have technology that is still better than
(July Call Sign), he gave an example of a cash
Nuala Glavin from Driver Services wrote a
the others, but when it comes to it, if you
job in Surrey Quays to Deptford that we would
guide as to what you should do if you get a
were the CEO of a large account what
be hard pressed to cover. That has always
PCN. This article was so clear and concise that
would you consider to be more important
been the case and always will be, so let them
no one but no one could claim not to under-
having management information reports
have it! My point is now as it was in my previ-
stand it! It explained in extremely clear lan-
containing info that is still second to none
ous letter, what about the account work? What
guage exactly what you should and shouldn't
or a cab outside your door on time? To be
is being done to safeguard that? Brian said that
do in the event of getting a PCN. Would it be
honest, I get a bit peed off covering trips in
we had retained JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley
possible to reprint this article every month,
the bids and having to explain why the cab
and Citi and also extended the 'House' for
because it really is the complete guide? Can
was late. I also need to earn a living and I
another year despite interest shown in those
you please thank Nuala for putting it together.
know damn well that there are nearer cabs
accounts by AL. Perhaps I'm being a tad para-
Sid Nathan (K88)
to some of the pick-ups than I am. Of
noid, but what's to stop AL getting them next
Sid, that sounds like a letter from someone
course, when it's quiet, our service is
time? None of the accounts mentioned are
who is thinking about retirement? Surely
exemplary but it has suddenly become
exclusive to us anymore and at least two - if
not! Who would provide the smiles for our
busy and that is reflected by the bids col-
not all three - are already serviced by AL. Did
AGMs! I'm sure I speak for the Chairman
umn. AL and others aren't perfect either
Brian intentionally fail to mention this? I'd be
when he recovers from his sudden attack
and they don't cover everything, but nei-
interested to hear of any corporate accounts
of blushing, that he thanks you for your
ther do they have drivers responding to
that used AL or any other PH company in the
kind words.
street hails. They just get overrun by radio
past, but then got rid of them, but I doubt
As for your main question, Company
work. And please don't tell me they pick
there are any. Why would they? They're
Secretary of the time Trevor Clarke told
up off the street because whilst some no
licensed and even if the staff don't want them,
me when I asked if he could remember
doubt do, the huge majority don't and we
I'm sure that the way the economy is, that
what actually happened, that your sugges-
can't really compete against that because
would be of little interest to the bosses.
tion was never put into practice as the
that's not how we work. Fortunately our
Brian said that he wasn't stating anything
Chairman of the day, Ken Burns, left
fate is still in our own hands. If we all
that most sensible taxi drivers were not already
before it was taken any further and
decide to cover just one or possibly two
aware of, but what I am aware of is that AL
that during Trevor's time as Company
more radio trips each day, then our repu-
and other PH firms are making deep inroads.
Secretary, they never extended this sug-
tation will carry us through because Brian
Imagine this. What if next time around, the
gestion to anyone. However, nowadays
Rice has convinced many of them that we
aforementioned accounts do go - and why
anyone with over 30 years at DaC pays no
are still the best.
wouldn't they if they are satisfied with them -
subs at all other than a nominal 1 per
This isn't personal John and perhaps it's
what would happen to us then? Why would
month
just a ridiculous ramble from someone
any decent sized account come back to the
As for Nuala's article, I have put it into
who has been on DaC for 37 years and
trade if the costs are cheaper and they are sat-
this issue again ...Ed
who allows sentiment to take over, but I'm
isfied? We can't even use supply and demand
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