The creator, Chuck Jones, had the above rules for Willey Coyote. As I was reading these I was sympathizing with Willey Coyote. He had a physical handicap and was trying to compensate with his superior intelligence. Coyotes can run 43 mph while roadrunners run 20 mph and coyotes are know for being highly intelligent animals (they set traps for pray, are sneaky, and ways to do less work for higher reward). Willey has reason to feel humiliated by his failures. If he was any other coyote that roadrunner would have already been his snack.
The things that stand between Willey and success are frustrating. A lot like the things that stand in the way between me and a career.
Willey has bad luck with the products and tools that are available to him. They malfunction or Willey fails to use the product properly. And He only has one source, ACME Cooperation. It reminds me of how my body stands in my way. My body malfunctions or I do something wrong and it causes my body to malfunction. Have a malfunction in the wrong time, wrong place and I need a little white flag that reads “help!” My brain is the only source I have. I am told from bosses and coworkers that I could go so much further if I could just get a different one. Just like Willey could probably love to change manufacturer.
Everyone not having troubles at work or in their career are like the Roadrunner. The Roadrunner makes it look so easy to stay on the road, the path to success. Roadrunner is the only one who has a voice. The successful, healthy employee gets a voice. We are stuck in the background trying hard to hide, trying to put on a show. Part of that show is not saying the wrong things, not complaining, not bringing attention to your special needs, and not slipping up. My focus get so wrapped up in showing normal-ness I loose track of conversations, don’t have things to add, panic when asked for my opinion, and fade into the background. “Beeb, Beeb” is what Roadrunner says to Willey. Roadrunner is mocking him, what is wrong with you that you can’t catch me? I become the source of ridicule or target for workplace bullying because of my shortcomings. And I have nothing to say for myself other then I was physically unable because of my disability, unless I am hiding the disability. Silence is not always golden. Words can cut like a sword.
Willey could stop any time but he is a fanatic. Stopping doesn’t seem like an option. We have tried to hard to quit. Giving up now is utter defeat. Proving “I can do this” isn’t the aim of a career. The aim is to find a place to belong in the workforce that will support you (and your family). With the goal “I’ll show you” you are not finding a sense of belonging and community. You are alienating yourself and creating unnecessary stress. Quitting was hard, it still makes me cry. I worked so hard to get my education and now find myself unable to get a job doing research. A job teaching seems just out of reach. Yes I feel like a failure, a bum, a deadbeat, lazy, a burden. Its all stuff I am told I am. But I had to stop being a fanatic and focus on my health. Adulting sucks damn it.
Willey finds his environment challenging. Even gravity is against him. Me too. At work light, sound, and gravity were always a challenge. Walking, opening doors, pushing buttons on the elevator, and even writing on the shiny white board or turning on the projector were all annoying obstacles that naturally occur in the educational environment.
Willey Coyote is constantly humiliated. His physical injuries were never as deep as his emotional scars. It reminded me of this time I had a seizure and sprang my ankle. The hurt I felt every time I had to say “I had a seizure and fell down a flight of stairs” hurt more then the pain in my ankle and random bruises. I had to laugh it off, say it with a smile, make a joke, and get a chuckle. Just like Willey. He just had an anvil fall on him, but please see the ridiculousness in what happened, please help him deal with the emotional hurt by laughing it off with me. Its not a cruel as it sounds. That is the sad part. I just gave a presentation that included migraine triggers, I wasn’t thinking, it hurt like Hell, please laugh at the ridiculousness of this situation, I think I’m going to cry if you don’t.
How has migraine impacted my career? It has made it nonexistent. I was told I need to fix my little problem before applying for a job. I can’t fix a disability. I am applying for a single class again. Part of me is saying yeah right and the other is saying there is no harm in trying. But there is emotional harm in getting the job and then not succeeding. Migraine and the stigma I’m being fed has pretty much shattered my confidence. I need to find the fanatic inside me that got me through college to get me a job.