Closeup of a mostly-full coffee cup with the Mercy Corps logo and a label reading PAUL'S COFFEE

The holes got rounder and I stayed square

Published 2013-03-27

Before I say anything else:

I believe in Mercy Corps. I believe in its mission of empowering the world’s poorest to improve their own lives, on their own terms. I believe in Mercy Corps’ innovative programs; its crackerjack field and local staff; and the dedicated people at our HQs in Portland and Edinburgh.

I put my money where my mouth is. I continue to support Mercy Corps in the way everyone should support the charities they trust: with an automatic monthly donation to an unrestricted fund. You should do the same.

I’ve designed Mercy Corps’ websites for almost six years, the longest I ever had any job. I have often quipped that “all my previous jobs were secretly preparation for this job.” I am absurdly proud of my work here. I don’t want to put anything else in my portfolio. Last week we released our new mobile-first Drupal 7 website: the best work of my life.


Today I resigned from Mercy Corps.

The past few years have seen a cultural shift at Mercy Corps. My particular x-powers have declining value in the new culture. The holes got rounder and I stayed square. For the last umpteen months, professional happiness has waged war against what’s best for my family in the theater of my overloaded life. That’s a stupid war and I want it to be over.

I love Mercy Corps. I love the sense of purpose I have working for the world’s heroes. I love my coworkers. I’ll miss this. But I remember when these holes used to be square.