Last week, The Inventory and Kinja Deals said goodbye to Corey Foster.
As The Inventory’s Commerce Researcher, Corey was the backbone of Kinja Deals and made the Main possible every day. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Corey single-handedly made this company millions of dollars during his employment here. Corey is the best deal hunter I know and if you’ve ever saved money using Kinja Deals, Corey was likely working behind-the-scenes to make that happen.
And as tradition dictates, we had to roast him but I don’t think we did a very good job.
You know that phrase about standing on the shoulders of giants? Kinja Deals stood on the shoulders of Corey Foster.
Corey would wake up before the sunrise every morning, and perform a series of magical computer incantations that I still don’t understand to find the deals. All of the deals. And then he’d apply his own judgement–judgement which had been honed to a knife’s edge through years and years of studying deals for unhealthy amounts of time each day–to filter out the bad stuff. And then he’d turn all of that into The Flood, the basis for all of Kinja Deals for that day. And then he’d jump into Slack (again, before any of us were even awake) to tell us about all the stuff that was most exciting in The Flood. We would then turn that into #content and take most of the credit, but none of it would have been possible without Corey.
And then he’d leave to go raise his daughters and run his businesses and tend to his bees and maintain his home and 3D print some toys and play 18 holes of disc golf and review some products and play some video games and cook meals and serve on I don’t know how many local boards for the betterment of his community. And then he’d sleep for–I assume–about 25 minutes, and then he’d do it all again the next day.
It would be easy to call Corey a machine; he’s as efficient and productive as any well oiled robot could ever hope to be. But that would be a disservice to one of the most human…humans I’ve ever been lucky enough to know. He’s endlessly sweet, deeply empathetic, a model family man, and more generous with his time and with himself than any of us ever deserved. Through over six years of hanging out mostly on Slack, and a too-small number of times in person, he taught me more about how to be a good person than he probably knows, and I’m humbled to have him as a friend and a role model.
This next step he’s taking in one of his three (or four?) concurrent careers is long overdue and richly deserved, and I know he’ll be as successful there as he’s been at everything else in his life. I just hope it means that he can get a little more sleep.
There are a few truly good people in the world, and I count Corey among them. He taught me so much over the past few years and I can honestly say that I’m a better person because of him. No one matches Corey’s kindness, dedication to his friends and family, and his talents.
He is an incredible human, a truly incredible soul. But he’s leaving, so eat shit Corey.
Whenever I’d feel down or depressed, Corey was my silver lining. He and Ana kept me sane when things got really dark for our little team. Despite the fact that Corey and I have only met each other in person once, I consider him one of my closest people. Corey was my Good Place.
When we actually got to hang out, he did what any good friend would do: he brought chocolate and kept drunk Tercius safe. One of my favorite memories from that one legendary holiday party was eating a ton of Macarons with Corey.
If I ever found myself in a bind (see: running out of things to write about,) Corey was my lifeline. I’d just ask and he’d always deliver. But I’m proud to say that I have never written a tool post despite all of the times Corey asked me to. I did, however, write about a can of cheese for Corey.
Fun fact: Corey is the first person I talk to every morning. And this week was my first without him and it hurt like hell.
To be frank, I should be used to this pain by now. I’ve said goodbye to everyone who worked on The Inventory when I was hired; Shep, Zach, Ryan, Bosh, Chelsea, Elizabeth, Jenni, and, soon, Ana.
But while I may be in grieving now, I take solace in the fact that my journey with Corey is just beginning. In Corey, I found a confidant and a partner. And while he’s leaving The Inventory and Kinja Deals, I lucked out. I’ve got a friend for life, and that’s the real Kinja Deal.
Take it sleazy, Corey. I’ll talk to you tomorrow morning.
Working with fully-remote employees can be hard. Communicating effectively with people often relies on social cues that you pick up through multiple in-person interactions with them. It truly speaks to how much Corey was a part of our Kinja Deals family that he never felt like a coworker we didn’t see in person. I’ve never even met Corey, but it feels like I’ve known him for years.
We call him our Dad because Corey is actually a dad (to two sweet girls), but he also just has that Dad Energy about him. He is always working on a home project. He knows something about everything, from power tools to canned cheese. I can’t tell you if a light bulb is good or not, but Corey can recommend the perfect bulb for every room in your house, LED or the other kind. If you ever had a doubt about a product, Corey had already used it once before and could give you a quick analysis of what made it good/okay/total shit.
It is hard to roast someone who is just so purely good and kind. I am a cranky demon every morning, but when I log into Slack, Corey has already said a dozen cheery things to start our workday off on the right foot. I don’t know how anyone can maintain such positivity when the world is often a horrible place, but Corey really does. When I went through a very tough time in my personal life, Corey was a kind and sweet soul who checked up on me to make sure I wasn’t stuck in a dark place. I’ll be forever thankful for his endless positivity and dad jokes.
If I need one thing to make fun of Corey for, it is his desk. Looking at his workspace is staring at a cursed image. It should not exist. How can a man who is so organized in his work life and personal life possibly have a desk like this? And yet, when we roasted him to high heavens about said desk, he still managed to offer me the coupon code I spotted in the mess because I happened to like shopping at that star. A true gem.
Corey is everyone’s workplace dad, and he cares about all his Inventory co-workers past and present as though they are his very own kiddos. In turn, we all love Corey, and his sagely Dad wisdom has benefited us all in one way or another.
During my time as Corey’s coworker, the guy really made me want to visit Nashville and eat hot chicken and generally copy his entire life. He has a simply adorable family. I also aspire to have a woodsy cabin like Corey, and maybe one day, multiple sources of income. True, I only met Corey in person one time, but it was a glorious time indeed (he brought candy!), and I’ve particularly loved having someone to trade h*cky barbs with.
Not only is Corey a fabulous work dad to all, but it would also be appropriate to call Corey “The Father of Deals” because does what no one else on the internet can or wants to do! He arises at the crack of dawn to create an obscenely comprehensive list of all the best deals. He does this because he is a benevolent deal wizard and GENEROUS AS HELL.
Also, he was banned from Reddit because he was too awesome for them, which is very badass. (I think that’s what happened, right?)
Basically, he’s been the deal master behind the scenes for 6+ years at Kinja Deals, and the site will be a darker, less flooded place without him. Luckily, I am personal friends with Corey and will continue to reap the money-saving, life-enriching benefits of said friendship! HA!
I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Corey was leaving. Corey! He’s an institution around here, working before the sun comes up and sourcing a huge portion of the deals that get posted.
Corey once told me that his Kinja gig was too good to give up, but I guess that turned out to be false. What else did he lie to me about? Is his name really Corey? Does he really do the work he turns in, or is it outsourced to his children? Are his children even REAL? Is he stealing their pictures from somebody’s Instagram and making up their life stories as he goes?
Assuming that he has been honest with me about everything but his undying fealty to Kinja, he has a garage full of cool gear that companies send him to review, and his daughters get to test drive awesome toys (like that sweet motorized Disney princess carriage). Did he offer to share any of this? No. No, he did not. But it’s fine.
Because actually, Corey has a super caring and generous heart. He’d do anything for anyone and always has a kind word for you when you’re down.
My favorite thing about “Corey” is that he lives in Nashville, which means a few things: 1. He’s a fan of the Smashville Preds (RIP Deadspin) 2. He always knows which cool little festivals and events are worth attending 3. We live close enough together to actually hang out in real life. We’ve only done this once, but now that all the time he spends on Kinja has been freed up, surely we can fit in more fun activities.
I wish him all the best in whatever endeavors he now intends to pursue.
I’m an only child, and so for obvious reasons I’ve never considered what it would feel like to lose a sibling, much less a twin. There’s a whole long and infuriatingly stupid story behind why I ended up being adopted away from Jalopnik/Deadspin/Jezebel/etc. into the Inventory fam but the funny thing about it was that I ended up right where I belonged: With a bunch of glorious dorks who took delight every single day in serving our readers. And no one (okay not no one * cough cough * Shep) was more glorious, more of a dork, or took more delight in doing the job we do here than Corey. Plus, Corey and I had both been with the company forever and ever and we had a lot of fun telling the others about the olden days, like how our astonishingly large-headed overlord seemed to always wear the exact same tattered lavender golf shirt. (To the other OGs all, like, two of you left: Do you think Denton owned a closet full of that same golf shirt? Because I’m entirely convinced he did.)
So here’s the twin thing: When Corey told us he was leaving to go work for another recently departed and incredibly beloved colleague, he and I did some math and realized that we started at what was then still called Gawker Media at almost the exact same time, me on March 22, 2013 and he on April 12, 2013. Do you guys even remember 2013? (I try not to, tbh.)
So look, losing Corey is a blow for all of us because he’s brilliant and dedicated and the type of total freak who will INSIST that we write about a great deal on disgusting cheese. And then also, because he insisted on the cheese post, a food bank in Ohio got a donation from a writer in New York. Corey changes LIVES, you guys.
But losing Corey is especially a blow for me because I’ve written what feels like 10,000 of these goodbye posts in the past 6 or so months but this goodbye post means I’m not just losing a trusted and beloved co-worker — I’m also losing the guy who is basically my Gawker Media twin. I am very sad.
RIP, Twinja :((
LOL IT’S A JOLIE KERR BLOB YOU THOUGHT THIS WOULDN’T END WITH A TERRIBLE DAD JOKE???)
I started my dream at GMG in February of 2013 (I’m 63 now), as the Director of Business Development. I was working with a tiny/nimble crew working to develop new revenue streams. The one that had *just started* to grow, Commerce, was helmed by two people working at 1/2 time: Erin and Kif. Somewhere in those first few months, and I literally have no idea when, Kif discovered a “deal hunter” lurking, posting and cornering the DEALS arena on Reddit. Obviously we had to find a way to work with him, and Erin/Kif worked out a tidy freelance budget for this man to help us grow Commerce.
As luck would have it, “helping us grow” to Corey meant taking the reigns on Kinja Deals and running with it full steam. Eventually I took over Business Development/Commerce, Kif left and others joined, but Corey remained the absolute through line across the entire endeavor. The absolute best part of this - from start to finish - was seeing each new staffer come to terms with having an *always on and forever present* cheerleader and partner in the deal mines each and every day (even though people might have been suspicious that Corey was a bot).
A funny aspect of having a more than half decade working relationship with someone over email and slack is that you very much come to know far more about their lives than you probably would if you were simply seat mates sitting in the same office. I know Corey is an awesome business partner to his other team in Nashville, I know he’s a beloved father and partner to his family, and I know he has a tremendously itchy trigger finger on the “add to cart button on Amazon.” Even funnier still, you can know ALL OF THIS kind of stuff without actually meeting them, and upon finally doing so, kind of have nervous butterflies in your stomach in anticipation.
That moment, for me, was November of 2018 when I had the pleasure of traveling with the Deadspin (RIP) crew down to Nashville for a live Deadcast we were hosting downtown. It was serendipitous: I got the chance watch the DS idiots live, in person, and trash talking Nashville sports... while ALSO putting a face to the name of one of the most persistent colleagues I’d ever had in my life. And the experience exceeded all my expectations: turns out Corey is JUST AS GREAT in person... and it was somewhat insane it took me 4.5 years to actually meet the damn man in person.
GMG will sorely miss the loss of Corey, as it has missed the loss of all those these recent months that have loved every minute of building and growing something from the ground up. I haven’t had access to GMG insights quite some time now, but if I did I’d try and look up the TOTAL POST volume Corey has had his byline attached to. In lieue of that, I’ll simply post the google search results I could find. 12,000 results!
Until we flood again!