Cafe Duty

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - By: Sajeev S, Whittall ‘22

Cafe duty is something every 12th grade Brentonian has heard of. Many of you non-Brentonians may be wondering what exactly is cafe duty. An accurate comparison would be the Depths of Tartarus.

Each week of the school year the Grade 12s of one of the boarding houses are mandatorily made to participate in cafe duty. Each house is given an equal amount of cafe duty but at the same time each house dislikes cafe duty equally.

Why does cafe duty sound so bad? For starters let's just say you and your housemate are placed on cafe duty on Monday - God forbid it’s Sunday cafe duty. Already you are stripped of your Grade 12 privilege to sleep in until eight am and now you have to wake up at a whopping 6:45 am, wake your housemate up and drag yourself to breakfast through the outstanding weather of Mill Bay where you will now waste an hour of your life that you will never ever, ever get back no matter how hard you try.

Younger grades and people who don't attend Brentwood think our response to cafe duty is mere overreaction, but let me tell you what this hour entails: absolutely nothing. Seniors are forced to sit down and watch as students grab their meals and go to the table. The purpose of cafe duty is to make sure students are respectful and following the rules of the cafe while in line, however, if, for example, a Grade 12 student were to tell another student in the line to stop horsing around, they would simply look and return to their tomfoolery, but if the staff member accompanying the Grade 12s was to simply walk by, they would stop immediately.

The whole idea of peers listening to other peers is just false. Students, of course, respect the Grade 12s and their community, but is someone really going to stop what they are doing when someone with virtually zero authority tells them to stop?

Even our beloved Head Prefect, Jacob H, Privett ‘22 says “Cafe duty is absolutely unacceptable; the fact that they expect me to wake from my slumber once a month before eight am is just flat out atrocious.” Sam B, Privett ‘22 says “I would rather sink my fingers into a boiling pot of oil.”

Put simply, cafe duty is dreadful; some would call it similar to belligerency and others would say it’s torture. On behalf of the Grad class of 2022, we want it ABOLISHED.

Sajeev S, Whittall ‘22

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