Now that the size and implications of public sector cuts are sinking in, senior managers and board members are realising that efficiency savings will not be anywhere near enough to cover it. Some tough talking is taking place in boardrooms across the country and the conversations all begin a little something like this:

“No one leaves this room until…” 

I did not hear the rest of the sentence as I was mulling over its menacing tone and veiled threat. The suits sat around a large, long table. At the top of the table sat the boss of bosses and next to him the money man.

We were all playing the numbers game but the take was down…The capital projects would have to be put on hold…Contracts were to be taken out…Some people didn’t realise when they were on to a good thing - maybe someone should tell them…We would negotiate by making them an offer they couldn’t refuse…Accept the new terms and conditions or join the unemployed.

A reporter from the local rag was asking questions. Make sure people know what to say.

Would the politicians play ball? They want to get re-elected, don’t they!

Word had come back that some people were taking liberties; bosses were told “keep your people in order”.

Money - or the lack of it - and a fear for your own future means that these joint meetings between the board and the senior management team are becoming more like something from a mafia movie.

But as the chief exec says: “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”