Hissing Geese and Susans

We have a pond behind our house and another bigger pond across our neighborhood (small lake?) Anyway, on tonight’s walk at the small lake, there was a family of geese. Two parents and 7 young adult geese, to be exact. As we were walking on the path, these geese saw us approaching and would.not.move. The eldest started hissing at us and so I hissed back at them, getting the aggressive attention of the whole gaggle (I am making this the plural of geese and I didn’t Google search to make sure it’s right – covfefe).

My husband said “Don’t get aggressive with them – be quiet and walk slowly.” Sure enough, our quiet, gentle movements made the geese move aside to let us pass. Only one adult was still unsure and hissed quietly under it’s beak (breath).

It donned on me that dealing with hissing geese is a lot like dealing with aggressive people in life, including work. When you come at an aggressive goose in an aggressive manner, that bird is gonna get you. Same goes for the “Susan” in the office.

You know Susan, although she may have a different name where you work, she is passive aggressive, likes to stir the pot, throw people under the bus, and other non-Kumbaya activities. Susan makes people tense and sometimes angry. Going at Susan aggressively won’t work for you. Quietly and slowly maneuvering around her may garner you some hissing, but not a full-on attack.


*Susan is just a term here, not an actual name, but it feels good to have a word for this kind of person, doesn’t it. Just imagine saying “Damn it, Susan”. Feels real good, doesn’t it?

I’ve got a Susan where I work. I’ve tried being nice, ignoring her, confronting her, and god only knows what else. My tactics have not worked and now I feel as if I’m hissing at a hissing goose. There are no winners here, folks. In fact, I know an attack may be eminent.

Tonight’s encounter with the hissing goose made me realize I had a new tactic in dealing with Susan.  I shan’t hiss back next time she hisses at me. I’ll just quietly move around her with a smile and go back to my desk or continue walking around the work pond, avoiding the poo on the sidewalks.




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