I deal with Marines in Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune every day. I love my job and have some interesting stories!

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/qJPqM

Edit: This was fun! I've got stuff to do, so I'm signing off, but I will check back here later. Feel free to leave more questions! Thanks guys!

Edit #2: Still checking this any time I jump on Reddit. Hope I'm not violating any rules. Keep them coming, just be patient for answers.

Comments: 112 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

zombie-in-the-corner11 karma

Most interesting discussion you have overheard in your cab?

demosthenes458530 karma

The religious debates are fun to listen to. Also anything to do with theoretical science. These Marines are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for.

GHarriott11 karma


demosthenes458528 karma

I once picked a guy up at some crisis center here in town and had to drive him to a detox rehab in Greenville. In a snowstorm. He seemed like a really nice guy, talking about how he wanted to get clean and get his life together. So as we get close to the detox, he asks to stop at a gas station. no problem, right? We stop and he pulls out a needle and spoon, saying he has to get rid of them before getting to detox. He throws away the needle and shows me the spoon. "you see all that orange stuff on there? That's Adderall!" and licks the spoon clean before throwing it away.

FiOSGOD8 karma

Ever had a couple have sex in your cab? And what is the strangest thing ever left behind in your cab?

demosthenes45857 karma

I had sex in one that I drove about 5 years ago. Strangest thing left behind? ... I dunno. Drawing a blank on that one. Stuff gets left all the time. Lighters, phones, trash. Lighters I keep, phones I hold onto for about a week hoping to find the owner, then I turn them in at the office.

plipyplop7 karma

Have you ever given the Jacksonville Ninja a ride?

demosthenes45855 karma

No, but I do honk and wave any time I see him.

hesnothere7 karma

Born and raised in Jacksonville (moved away since). I'll look you up next time I'm in town and need a lift.

What are your favorite and least favorite place to pick up fares?

Biggest differences between civilian and military riders?

Has Uber taken away much business yet? Not sure how many drivers there are around town.

demosthenes45859 karma

  1. most favorite... Camp Johnson. The Marines there are more fun. Least favorite... the more ghetto parts of town.

  2. Attitude! Most marines are respectful and courteous, whereas I've had alot of Townies that look down on me because of my profession, or assume that I'm going to rip them off.

  3. Uber isn't a thing in Jacksonville yet. Probably has something to do with the base vehicle permitting.

AsUwished3 karma

I was stationed at Camp Johnson in 01'. I remember about a dozen taxis would line up on a Friday night and we would make a run for them mob style. Many of the drivers would open their doors and try to wave us to their taxi over the others. I was saw two drivers get into a fist fight over which one of them "saw" the Marines first! Good times, good times... There was also a driver there that liked to pick up really drunk Marines when they were by themselves and try to sexually assault them. One of my buddies bailed from that car and ran back to base. He was nineteen and too drunk (and underage) and embarrassed to turn the guy in.

demosthenes45855 karma

I think I have an idea who that may be. He still drives.

Hollywood77 karma

Largest tip ever?

demosthenes458523 karma

$100. One of my regular customers was getting out of the Marine Corps and had ridden with me for 2 years.

Hollywood75 karma

Thats awesome!

Is there a general rule for tipping? I mainly use Uber any thought on them?

demosthenes458511 karma

I would totally drive for Uber if they existed here! Tipping depends. Toss me something at least. And for the love of God, if the fare is $X.70, don't ask for your 30 cents back!

Hollywood73 karma

I normally tip around $5 for a short ride, and if its REALLY late (2-3am) tip around $10. Just because I feel like its the busy time of night and I want them to feel taken care of :)

demosthenes45855 karma

Good deal! I really appreciate customers like you!

OnePastFun6 karma

How does one become a cab driver? (Tests, $, Car)

demosthenes458510 karma

No felonies, drug charges, or DUI's. Clean piss test. Permitting for a driver costs about $130 the first time and $100 annually after that. Of course, you have to find someone to drive for, as you can't put your own cab on until you've driven 6 months. As a shift driver, you make half of the meter (after gas) plus tips. So if you went out and put $120 on the meter, and you topped the car off at the end of your shift for $20, you would walk away with $50 plus tips. 120 (total)-20 (gas) = 100 /2 = 50

ericcartmanbrah1 karma

Do you see yourself as a business man? Thought about calling Uber?

demosthenes45854 karma

I see myself as a small business owner because I own my own cab. As far as Uber goes, I'm going to sit back and see what happens with the base on that one. What I see happening is people that already have base access doing Uber without commercial passes. Think military spouses that have base decals on their personal cars.

Puppier2 karma

Is that legal?

demosthenes45852 karma

No. Using a POV (personally owned vehicle) for commercial stuff is frowned upon on base.

Valhalla_Bound1 karma

Do you need to have a good sense for roads and directions, or are tools like GPS viable to use?

demosthenes45851 karma

I've been doing this for like 6 years, and there are still a lot of roads I don't know. Mainly residential areas. Luckily, just about everything in town is on one road. The mall, WalMart, the other big-box stores, and just about every restaurant are all on Western Blvd.

WWLadyDeadpool4 karma

How often do you get stiffed by service members?

demosthenes458529 karma

I've never been stiffed where they didn't pay the fare. I have been stiffed on a tip. All the time. If I told you who did it most often you would call me racist.

austin21_4 karma

Has anyone brought a firearm into your vehicle?

demosthenes45853 karma

Not that I have been aware of.

Puppier2 karma

How would you react if someone did?

demosthenes45855 karma

I respect the second amendment. As long as they don't try to threaten me with it, I really don't care.

AdilB1014 karma

How did you get your job?

demosthenes45857 karma

In the help wanted ads i saw CAB DRIVERS WANTED. I figured it was something to do while I looked for a "real job". Stopped looking almost right away.

ArsonandLarsonLLC3 karma

I was recently involved with the launch of a new App in Burlington, VT called Zabcab. Basically, we offer the technology Uber drivers have to the licensed cab drivers of the city. At the touch of a button you are connected with a rider requesting a fare, they pay you directly for the fare. What is your impression of this idea?

Link to Website

Link to News Article

demosthenes45854 karma

I have been wondering lately about computerized dispatch, but that is something that the company as a whole would have to do. Hell, we still have drivers that don't accept credit cards. I use square myself.

AdilB1013 karma

What is THE most interesting story?

[deleted]3 karma

What was the fastest speed you ever got up to in the cab?

demosthenes458525 karma

It's an '05 caravan with almost 400k miles on it. I try not to dog it out to much.

97 mph

MiranEitan6 karma

Downhill with the mizzen sail at full bellow, with the perfect optimum load of drunken marines readying for boarding?

demosthenes45852 karma

You sir would get gold or karma or whatever if I knew how that stuff worked. Have an upvote.

RiflemanLax3 karma

Went through Geiger in late '98 for SOI. I hope the town has improved since then. Mostly I recall a lot of PVTs, PFCs, and LCPLs blowing their money at the strip clubs.

You've got to have a nasty strip club story?

demosthenes45853 karma

I have no idea what it was like back then. I got stationed here in '05. I'm originally from NY

kadeclan3 karma

How long have you been driving a cab in Jacksonville? I live in Texas but I was in the Marine Corps and stationed at Lejeune for a time for some school so it is entirely possible you drove me around at some point.

demosthenes45852 karma

I've been doing this for about six years. If you went to MOS school on Camp Johnson, Courthouse Bay, or Camp Gieger, I probably carried you.

Daniel_Day_Hubris6 karma


demosthenes45852 karma

Camp Jailhouse, Outhouse Bay, and Camp Giggles, respectively.

graphikon2 karma

When you were a child, did you have plans to grow up an be a cab driver?

demosthenes45858 karma

Really? No, of course not. I wanted to be a director.

Slippery_Jim2 karma

In the end you probably ended up in a better career. A lot of film people starve...actors & directors specifically.

demosthenes45855 karma

I love my job! I just recently got my VA disability, so I don't have to work, but I do anyway.

bleepbloop123452 karma

How did you grow such a majestic beard?

How long did it take?

Do you comb it every night before you go to sleep?

demosthenes45855 karma

For the record, my wife HATES it. Last time I shaved was June 8th, 2013. I don't comb it at all.

ryfleman19922 karma

Ummm... Can I get a discount?

Signed a Marine in MCAS New River, Jacksonville NC who can't afford to pay for cabs :P

In all seriousness, I'm glad you enjoy driving us around, I figured all the cab drivers hated us! We can be a... roudy bunch.

demosthenes45853 karma

I can't do discounts (the city sets the rates), but I would be happy to have you as a customer! I'll pm you my personal number!

GHarriott2 karma


demosthenes45858 karma

You know, I'm really not sure. I can tell if they give off an officer "vibe", though. I'm prior enlisted myself, so I don't ask. I had a full-bird Colonel ride with me once, though.

GHarriott3 karma

Do the higher ranked officers tend to behave better or worse in a cab in your experience?

demosthenes45858 karma

I have never had a problem with an officer in my cab. They seem to know that they need to lead by example. Come to think of it, they behave better than some of the NCO's I've carried.

GHarriott8 karma


demosthenes458515 karma

Do me a favor and re-post this as a top level comment so it doesn't get buried!

GoonCommaThe-21 karma

Is that your way of saying "I want comment karma for my answer"?

demosthenes45859 karma

i have no idea how that stuff works.

txs23002 karma

What ethnicity are most taxi drivers in town?

demosthenes45855 karma

Depends what company they drive for. Tarheel, Dependable, and New Liberty are mostly white. Papa's, Yellow Cab, and Star Cab are mostly black or hispanic.

demosthenes45855 karma

Cab companies in Jacksonville: Tarheel Taxi, Yellow Cab, Dependable Taxi, Dynamic Cab* , A-1 Taxi, New Liberty Cab, Top Dog Taxi, Star Cab, King Cab* , Richlands Checker Cab

Ones with * I'm not sure if they are still operating.

billypmacdonald2 karma

Do you notice local animosity towards the military personnel?

demosthenes45853 karma

Very little. Usually someone that had a bad experience with an individual service member.

theDirtyCatholic1 karma

Hey OP! I live in Pender County. I didn't really have a question, but I can come up with one:

Isn't Cookout the best deal in town? Best chain in NC by far.

demosthenes45853 karma

Meh. I eat a lot of crap while I'm on the road. I try to change it up as much as possible.

STKFC1 karma

Have you ever accepted anything from a customer to pay for a ride besides cash/charge?

demosthenes45852 karma

I would love to start taking challenge coins. Thanks for the idea!

truevindication1 karma

Day late and a dollar short BUT-

  1. You said you were prior-enlisted. Which branch/rank?

  2. What was the dumbest thing you've seen a Marine do or heard them brag about once you picked em up?

  3. What was the dumbest thing YOU'VE done when enlisted?

This was fun to read through!

Edit: Just checked the proof pics (since I preferred to read first. what a dummy...) and see a USMC cover on the dash, so i presume you were a Marine or catering to them? Also- you remind me of the brother from Orange Is Thew New Black!

demosthenes45853 karma

  1. USMC LCPL Charlie Battery 1st Battalion 10th Marines
  2. Too many to pick just one... mooning people from in the cab?
  3. Let my buddies tape me to an office chair and leave me on the curb with a sign reading "FREE TO A GOOD HOME". This was on base housing. The MP's rolled by and told my friends to wheel me back inside. Good times.

Lady_Nerdly1 karma

Hey! I'm also from that area! I have a few questions: What the hell is there to do for fun that doesn't involve debauchery? I never figured it out in my 18ish years of living there. Who are your worst customers? Is it weird to see the sudden explosive growth of the town? Everytime I come back to visit, it's gotten bigger. It's really unsettling!

demosthenes45853 karma

There isn't a whole lot to do besides shop or drink. There is a really nice frisbee golf course at one of our city parks, though. What we need is a Dave & Busters. It would be like a license to print money for them!