What Groupon Eats

Hello, Food.

It’s not just something we say when we greet what we are about to ingest. It’s what Groupon employees say when they enter the large cafeteria at Groupon Headquarters. “Hello, Food” houses locally grown produce and organic options for stomachs, complete with a deli, taquería, “exhibition station”, and satiating salad bar.

Thanks to ChiGut for stopping by Groupon Headquarters and capturing what we hold close to our hearts and stomachs!

The Groupon CS Talent Show: Not Enough Tiaras

The Groupon Customer Service Talent Show — the one time a year when bright-eyed, hopeful employees compete savagely for the acclaim and respect of their peers and the utter humiliation and ridicule of their opponents.

The Brother Cottermans

A fun time was had by all!

After introducing three fierce Talent Judges (each specifically schooled in the art of judging people based on their superficial qualities), the ceremonies were underway with a harp and acoustic guitar performance of Pachelbel’s Canon. James and Chuck, our hosts, greeted the audience with solemn respect, shaking each audience member’s hand while the rest awaited the Bonanza of Talent yet to explode onstage.

The night began with a pitch-perfect rendition of the national anthem by our hosts, reminding everyone that the best way you can express your patriotism is by avoiding tone-deafness. And as the contestants got underway, the audience swooned and swayed to the sounds of Alicia Keys, Brian McKnight, and a golf ball bouncing on the end of a golf club for almost a minute straight. Magic fire nearly burnt down the sound system, a psychic taught us all that it’s best to look into our own future, and an interpretive step-dance of Customer Service expertise had the whole house wishing they weren’t so utterly talentless.

When the dust settled, only Sam C.’s performance of “Back at One” proved him a courageous crooner, an expert at counting to four, and the most talented representative in Customer Service History This Year. He has received the gloriously beautiful Tiara of Talent, and is honored to wear it to work all day, demonstrating just how big of a winner he truly is.

But really? We all won.

The Cottermans, James and Chuck

Groupon Employees Lend a Hand at Working Bikes

Today’s blog post is guest-authored by Meghanne Phillips:

Last Saturday a cohort of Groupon cyclists volunteered at one of our favorite charities, Working Bikes, where Chicagoans’ unwanted bikes become cheap and efficient vehicles for those who need them here and abroad. This storefront in Pilsen conceals a mind-boggling number of used bicycles on its three floors: they’ll take whatever rusted piece of junk you want to donate.

Although some of the thousands of bikes brought into the shop every year can be repaired and resold in Chicagoland, the vast majority of them are shipped to Global South countries, where they serve a variety of purposes. During our welcome tour of the expansive property, we learned that these donated bikes serve as hands-on training for bike mechanics in countries like Africa and Peru, after which they provide transportation for professionals who desperately need them–one circuit doctor in Africa was able to cut down his service route from weeks to days with the help of Working Bikes. More impressive still are the ways in which spare parts from these bikes can be reappropriated to construct wells and generators. Projects like these particularly interest founder Lee Ravenscroft, who is constantly designing new machines in the shop–which you, too, can see when paying Working Bikes a visit.

We were given the the task of streamlining bikes to fit into shipping containers, removing pedals and turning handlebars in order to economize precious space. Because of our help, the cooperative will be able to pack 5,000 bikes into containers today for Wheels of Africa.

Working Bikes regularly opens their doors to volunteers Tuesday 5-9pm and Wednesdays and Saturdays 12-5pm. And if you don’t think you know enough about bikes, don’t worry: the staff is eager to teach all enthusiastic volunteers. Any day you are able to give is not only providing ease of access to medical care, education, and food for whole communities in the Global South, but is also a learning experience for the amateur mechanic (and rumor has it that there’s a burrito in it for you at the end of the day).

Ping Pong Table vs. Small Office

We respect our fearless leaders at Groupon. But even though we know they’re better than us at kickball and bench presses, they are not protected from the occasional office prank. Joe Harrow, Head of Customer Service, became a recent victim of the ol’ “Ping Pong Table in a Small Room” gag.

Here is the reaction shot with about four confused double-takes:

Friday's Microwave Theater

Groupon culture will now be captured on one of the oldest forms of technology: The Cam

The Lunch Cam made its first appearance last Friday. Decked out in green curtains, the Lunch Cam captured the gritty, real-life drama of Groupon employees’ habitual grazing hour. Riveting highlights included spilled soup, homemade autumn leaf pasta mixed with a spicy arrabiata sauce, scallops, calamari, and shrimp, and a suspenseful two minutes with a double-nuked bag of microwave popcorn.

Thanks for tuning in, viewers. Let us know what else you’d like to see!

Groupon Engagement

When a Groupon employee uses a Groupon to propose to another Groupon employee, not only do the eyes involuntarily cross at the concept, but the heart swells from happiness.

Self-proclaimed “huge nerds”, Tabitha (Customer Service) and Zach (Editorial), purchased the Wizard World Groupon the second it went on the site. There was no need to roll a perception check, they knew it was the right thing to do.

With the video help of another Customer Service representative and friend, Haily, they were able to capture the adorable proposal at the Chicago Comic Convention with a perfect celebrity cameo at the end. Tabitha told us:

It’s hard to hear, but it starts “Tabitha I love you so much,” and ends with “Will you marry me?” I can’t remember the middle part, because I was feeling too many feelings.

Congratulations, Tabitha and Zach!

Meet a Groupon Employee

Though Groupon culture is best witnessed in person, wearing goggles to shield your eyes from sparks, we’ve asked a few of our eclectic, hard working employees to answer a few questions about what makes them tick.

Name:  Kelly T.

**Dept./Position:**  Editorial – Reviews Writer

**What have you learned since working here?**
I’ve learned that the best motivation is happiness. I work hard because it makes me happy to make my team, coworkers and Groupon users happy.

**Which zoo animal are you least similar to?**
Seal -  Swimming and clapping are not my forte.

**What’s been a memorable experience so far with this company?**
On orientation day, I sat in a room with a ton of people from different backgrounds, eating bagels, laughing and learning. I knew then I was a part of something good.

**What’s your smallest regret?**
Cutting my own bangs. I continue to do it.

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A Soda with Kathie Lee and Hoda

Groupon’s Customer Support department has been known to march to the beat of a different drummer.

Keeping with this spirit, everyday four ladies and one lad get together to watch the fourth hour of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

They call it “A Soda with Kathy Lee and Hoda.”

Sarah, one of the five, explains how it got started. “Last month I found this clip from the show where Kathie Lee and Hoda drink wine and bike during this Aspen Wine Festival, and I thought, ‘This is so funny and so much fun,’ so I passed it around to a few co workers that I thought would like it…and they did! From there we started watching the streaming episodes at our desk during lunch. Then we were like, ‘What are we doing? Let’s watch it together!’”

And that’s what they do. Everyday at lunch they find a conference room, grab a soda, and watch most of the show (streamed online) during their lunch break.

Wes, the only male in the group, sums it up. “Well, it’s a lot of fun. The two of them are fun, easy, and self-deprecating at times. I only wish we were splitting a bottle of white wine instead of sodas, but oh well.”

The group vows to keep watching the show at lunch and they are also planning a “margarita night” sometime soon.

Thanks to Eric in Customer Service for writing about our new favorite lunch time pastime.

Meet a Factchecker

Popular to contrary belief, facts are not just something you make up. As a Factchecker at Groupon and proud owner of a fine-toothed comb, Kieran tells us how many details he pays attention to on a daily basis:

On the not-so-top floor of the not-quite-tallest building downtown, a group of bright, young, mostly-bespectacled individuals sit clamoring over their keyboards, picking up phones, hanging up phones, lifting their distressed hands to their foreheads, and clicking away as fast as their little fingers can into the far reaches of the worldwide web (aka information superhighway).

They’re checking facts. They’re Factcheckers. And lucky for you, I, Kieran Michael Kredell, happen to be a Factchecker, myself.

Kieran - Factchecker and Bicycle Enthusiast

As Factcheckers at Groupon, our job is to ensure that (1) everything written and published about our merchants and about our deals is accurate, (2) there are no hidden expenses that would distort the stated value of any deal, (3) there are no super-secret caveats to a deal that would restrict people from actually buying it, (4) this is the best possible deal and that there are no competing discounts available anywhere that would devalue it. Then with smaller teams of us dedicated to the company’s newer project launches (the Getaway and Home & Garden channels, for example), this task list reaches into the double digits. Or triple. Probably quadruple. Continue Reading