USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Tips’
Contagious
Folk Beliefs
Gestures
Kinesthetic
Magic
Signs

Happily Ever After – Server’s Edition

Informant Info:   The informant is a 26-year-old female who was born in raised in Hickory, North Carolina. For the past 3 years, she has lived in Orlando, Florida and has worked for Walt Disney World as a Status Coordinator.

 

Interview Transcript:

Interviewer: You’ve worked for Disney for the past 3 years, almost 4 now. Have you ever encountered any traditions within locations that are outside of the realm of general work operations?

 

Interviewee: Well, I think I have one for you. When I was at Be Our Guest, there was a giant mosaic at the entrance of the restaurant. Every morning when opening, we would follow general opening procedures and then have the normal pre-shift meeting that all locations have… not that you would know since you were always closing at Satu’li (laugther)! Anyways, the mosaic, in case you don’t know, is one of the scenes of the Happily Ever After between Belle and the Beast. After pre-shift, we all had to walk outside to greet guests and drop the rope. But before doing so or starting any shift, every server would walk up to the mosaic and touch it. To them, it was like a good luck charm. In order to have a good shift, they needed to touch it and by doing so they would get lucky and have their own happily ever after by getting good tables and tips. Otherwise, without touching, they would likely have a bad shift. It sounds stupid, but it’s something I always witnessed them doing!

Analysis:

It seems almost natural that workers (or cast members, as they are called) are deriving their own superstitions off popular folklore. The mosaic that she is referring to in the story reflects the ending scene in Disney’s version of The Beauty and the Beast. It is a depiction of the ballroom scene of Belle and the Beast dancing, and the red rose blossoming in the background. This scene in the movie symbolizes the happy ending for the two, as the Belle and the (now) Prince can spend the rest of their lives together after the curse has been lifted. The superstition among the Disney servers just reflects variation on this by, as Kim points out, serving as a lucky charm for their own happily ever after… by the method of good tips!

BeautyBeast

 

Citations: Trousdale, Gary and Kirk Wise, directors. Beauty and the Beast. Walt Disney, 1991.

Photo from Google Images

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.

[geolocation]