They’re milling around in the foyer
All taking their comfort break
The coffee’s being served from vacuum jugs
With slices of poppy-seed cake.
They’ve the annual pay rates to set
Their order-book forecast is poor
The Union’s asking for eight percent
Their aim is to give under four.
They’ve Belgian biscuits and waffles.
With sugar lumps cut from the cane.
At a meeting focussed on budget cuts?
Their efforts could all be in vain!
Why are the men on their Blackberry ‘phones,
Pacing backward and forth as they speak?
And why must he have all his ducks in a row,
To fit in a window next week?
They all drove down in their private cars,
At forty-five pence for each mile,
And will stay overnight in a top-grade room,
To wake with a satisfied smile.
Cut ten per cent from the cleaning bill.
Chop twelve per cent off the mail.
All ground staff will opt for the cheapest fare
When travelling, on duty, by rail.
So now they are back in the meeting.
The chairman is up on her feet.
And she’s quoting those dusty old clichés.
All sung from the same hymnal sheet.
Now they’re into the paradigm shift,
With that clear blue water between.
They must all push the envelopes wider
And slice, to the bone, all the lean.
At last they have cleared the agenda
And settled the yearly bonus
It’s three per cent for each member of staff,
But, “Eleven per cent for us!”
So off to the bar for a snifter.
Then in for a seven course meal.
Blind to the knowledge, that their shop-floor staff,
Might sense who has got the best deal.