The Best Passages From This Weekend's Reddit AMA With a NYC Cabbie
The Ask Me Anything forum on Reddit allows users of the insanely popular (and insanely addicting) aggregation site to propose inquiries of all shapes and sizes to the character in interest. It's a Q&A for the masses and, seriously, the "anything" is highly stressed.
By now, we're sure you've heard of it. Why? Because the President has done one. And so has a participant on MTV's deceased wonder "Pimp My Ride." Pretty much everyone currently significant in pop culture has signed on for the ride.
But, last weekend, the AMA was localized for our viewing pleasure. On Friday, the Reddit community welcomed a 26-year-old cabbie from the Big Apple with open arms. The twentysomething gave this description about himself:
I'm not the typical New York City cab driver. I'm younger and I was born and raised in the USA. I went to prep school and four year university. I have been moonlighting, sometimes heavily, for 3 years. I'm working full time now until the end of the summer when I'm quitting for good. I work the night shift.
Transportation truths we've all been thinking about definitely ensued. Here's a few that every New Yorker should read:
Q: @InedibleOhio asked: What's a good average tip?
I guess if you want a percentage 20 percent is cool. But from my standpoint and having been driving around for a bit I think tipping should be based on the the length of time during a ride. Time is much more valuable to a cab driver than the metered fare. Typically as a driver you want to be averaging a dollar a minute. Some rides get 3-4 dollars a minute even more. And some get 50 cents a minute. Then they get 50 cents a minute you're really losing money. So I guess take that into account. Also if you're going to an outerborough or a remote location realise that the cab driver might not get a fare for a while so take that into account as well
On the graveyard shift...
Q: @anairawins asked: When does your night shift start and end? And who is the most interesting person you've come across in your cab? Btw, get well soon :D
I've had a lot of people in my cab I'd normally never meet. Like the pimp I talked about in an answer to another question and escorts and prostitutes. But I wouldn't really ever hang out with a lot of those people. I've met some awesome people who I've exchanged numbers with and ended up hanging out with at some point. But I've met pretty interesting people from all over the world. I had a guy who toured with bands and photographed them. He's worked with snoop and other famous people. His stories were pretty awesome. Usually people like that are fun to talk to. And thanks I hope I get better soon too
Also- night shift typically starts at 5pm and you have the car for twelve hours. Technically you can quit whenever you want since you pay for just the rental up front. But I work the full twelve.
On drunken conversations...
Q: @elbythirtysix asked: What, for you, has been the most interesting conversation you've had with a passenger? I'm wondering because my conversations with cabbies always ends up going the way of the meaning of life or something of that nature. Or maybe its just because I'm usually drunk.
I've had a lot of interesting conversations and met interesting people but I don't think I can single one thing out. I like food and restaurants a lot. And fashion. So conversations with people regarding that are always good. But these are people I normally associate with in regular life. However I meet a lot of people I normally do not associate with. I picked up a pimp in the upper west side around 3 am on a weekday. He paid me 60 bucks to drive him around the Bronx so he could collect money from his girls. And he told his life story. That was pretty interesting.
Also I've picked up a lot of escorts and they're pretty open with me about their business. I once picked up a kid who was on the phone trying to sell some handguns he was carrying in his backpack. I told the cops who were sitting around the corner from where I dropped him off. I don't know what happened after that. Also I've had some guy invite me into his house and he made me a burger. Our convo was about burgers and he was insisting he made the best.
Q: @dontbeadickbag asked: About how much money do you make per year if you don't mind me asking? I have heard that cab drivers actually make a decent amount of money, more than most people think.
On a bad night I make about 250 for myself. On a really good night about 500. On average about 350-400. This is working a full twelve hours. And most drivers don't make this because they're either lazy or don't know what they're doing. Finding the passengers late at night is the real work.
Q: @cgerb88 asked: Do you ever pretend that you're the new host of Cash Cab and then crush their spirits when they find out it's all a sham? I would.
No but a lot of people always think they're on cash cab or something. Maybe I should.
On going the distance...
Q: @bubbah1012 asked: 1) What is the biggest tip you have ever received? 2) What is the farthest destination you had to drive to?
150 on a 650 dollar ride. But I've gotten a 100 bucks on a 18 dollar ride and 40-50 on a ten dollar ride. Farthest place was Delaware or new haven Connecticut
Q: @Antal_Marius asked: Have you ever had passengers get it on in the back while you were driving?
Yes many times. Sometimes they even ask. To which I usually just reply really? Because the cars NEVER get cleaned. They're filthy. I've also had a girl masturbate in the backseat while her friend was very embarrassed. I usually try to hit as many potholes when I know a blow job is going on in the back. It's always funny then you arrive at the destination and there early was not enough time for completion and the guy gets out of the car with a boner.
That's only half of it. Reddit wins. Check out the entire AMA here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.