Folk Beliefs

Tips Come in Waves

“Alright so I worked in ummm…. I worked in like multiple restaurants since I was like a freshman in high school and ummm…. one thing that they’ve always had in common was ummm…. was that there was a superstition around how servers got their tips. So the superstition was that just sort of that they come in waves and like servers take it very seriously like on a day where they get like… zero dollars in tips from multiple tables and they’re not bringing home that much money, they like… it’s really easy to get down about it. but in restaurants there is this attitude that’s like incubated that like what goes around comes around… kind of… so like if they get zero dollars from multiple tables and don’t bring home that much money one day, the next shift they’re very confident that they’ll get a lot of money and because they’re confident that that system will work, they probably serve better and they probably get better tips because of that so it’s sort of like a self fulfilling prophecy so because like, when a server has a bad day for tips because they believe in that philosophy that they’ll have a better day next time they actually do which is very interesting”

What I enjoyed about this superstition is that the informant realized how the superstition worked and how it was a self fulfilling prophecy within the superstition. Aside from that it’s also this superstition within the job as Tok Thompson has said is a way for the people within the job to control something out of their control. In this case it was the servers trying to control how many tips the get.

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