Margaret Exley insists, however, that the Whitehall inmates were "very welcoming, relaxed and friendly" on her first day in the new job yesterday.
Ms Exley already juggles a number of taxing roles. Married with two children, she is head of "change management communications and measurement" at Towers Perrin, the consultancy. As such she is currently helping Shell to sort out its global management restructuring. She has also sat on a number of other boards, including the Insolvency Services Board at the DTI and the Vehicle Inspectorate at the Department of Environment and Transport.
The new job at the Treasury will involve a meeting once a fortnight. She says she is most interested in "what it takes to manage change in a very traditional and complicated organisation."