Meet a Groupon Employee

Though Groupon culture is best witnessed in person, preferably via moving walkway or tramcar, we’ve asked a few of our eclectic, hard working employees to answer a few questions about what makes them tick.

Name: Emily Gordon

Position: Editorial/Staff Writer

Other Talents: I’m a longtime blogger and Twitter addict and have an MFA in poetry. I’m not the only poet here, either!

What’s a typical day like for you?

To rev myself up for the day, I grab a relatively easy deal from the queue (say, about cupcakes). Then I write a bunch more throughout the day–currently, for cities all over Canada. (I’m half-Canadian, so I feel half-qualified to speak authoritatively about our friends to the north.) Often, I chat with sales reps and fact checkers during the process about the finer points of a deal. Sometimes I snag a New York walking tour or familiar restaurant, which is a nice excuse to virtually visit my longtime home. When my energy starts to flag, I like to read Google Alerts about Groupon, which are endlessly educational and quite inspiring.

Which movie villain could you beat in a fight?

The stag beetle in “Microcosmos.”

What have you learned since working here?

I’ve learned how to tack up a very large Jean-Claude Van Damme poster. I finally understand what microdermabrasion is. I’ve learned numerous synonyms for the word “food.” I know that it’s a challenge to find an envelope in an internet company’s office. I’ve learned about quite a few of downtown Chicago’s delicious lunch options. More seriously, I’ve learned that there really is a difference between Groupon copywriting and that of all the Groupon clones, and I’m proud of it.

Which non-Chicago landmark do you wish was in Chicago?

Are you kidding?? Chrysler Building, obviously.

What’s been a memorable experience so far with this company?

One day, the entire editorial team learned it was moving to an office in a new, somewhat remote neighborhood for several months during a massive rewiring. Everyone took the news incredibly calmly and serenely. No one carped or sniveled or mutinied. I’ve never seen anything like it.

What should people know about Groupon?

The people who work here are almost surreally nice. Funny and clever, yes, but they’re a bunch of sweetiepies. And the writers here, even the youngest ones (I’m older than the average writer bear), have serious chops. Writing is taken seriously here, as is editing (note passive voice earlier in this sentence), fact checking, copy editing, and words in general. Words are the stars of this company.

Go ahead and make up a Shakespeare quote.

Forsooth, that thine marble eye doth make a mink of slithy toves!

Before Groupon, what was the best job you had and why?

I’ve worked as a painter’s model off and on for a while. It’s reflective, it’s demanding, it’s a creative collaboration, and it reminds you there’s no objective reality–we all see each other completely differently. Seriously, you should try it sometime.

What do you like about working here?
Most business owners have thrown their heart and soul into bringing something (a restaurant, a hair salon, a vodka-Popsicle stand) to life. Every day there’s an opportunity for writers to show off what those people accomplished, and to make people guffaw at the same time. Actually, I feel like it’s a good day if I can make myself guffaw with my own writing at least once.

What’s your smallest regret?

My choice of the “Pond Reeds” photo as a desktop background. It’s mildly disquieting.