Joe Parker and the Rocket Killer Penguins
With piles of snow on the ground and temperatures hovering around freezing, it still feels very much like winter at Rocket’s headquarters in Waltham, MA. But this is the time of year when our trivia team–The Killer Penguins–thrives; just ask anyone at Regina’s Pizzeria in nearby Brighton. Comprised predominantly of members from the Rocket softball team, trivia gives Rocketeers a chance to compete during the off-season and put their vast troves of knowledge to good use. It also helps us maintain a steady diet of pizza and beer throughout the year.
While everyone brings their A game to trivia night, there is one person who stands out from the rest, who has continuously led the team to victory week after week. From sports statistics to history to pop culture, Joe Parker is unbeatable. He has generously stopped offering the answer right away to give the rest of us a fighting chance to contribute. And on a particular night when fate did not allow his teammates to show, he single-handedly defeated over 20 teams of 6 people each to keep our winning streak alive!
Here are some of the questions Joe correctly answered that stumped the rest of the teams*:
- In which stadium was the longest home run hit in MLB history?
- Which two countries that share a border were founding members of OPEC?
- Which actor was nominated for two posthumous Academy Awards?
Joe is as knowledgeable about Rocket products as he is about trivia. He moved to New England from San Francisco 15 years ago to join Rocket Software as the 45th employee in a company that now boasts more than 1,200. Joe began his career at Rocket in customer support and then became a Quality Assurance Engineer for DB2 Tools and then QMF (Query Management Facility). Now he is a product specialist, doing a little of everything, including supporting many of the Fortune 100 customers who rely on QMF as their business intelligence reporting tool.
During his 15-year tenure at Rocket, Joe has solved countless problems for Rocket customers. He has also been instrumental in building social groups through softball, fantasy football, Super Bowl squares and trivia to drive camaraderie among his peers and to keep things fun.
It goes without saying that Rocket is a tight-knit community, and trivia nights have become a weekly gathering of employees (both past and present) from the Finance, HR, R&D, and Legal departments. We have most categories covered, but can always use some help with geography–especially questions about populations. So if you find yourself in Boston on a Thursday night, stop by and join us for a beer. And when the ground starts to thaw, we’ll see you on the softball field!
*Answers: (1) Mickey Mantle hit the longest home run of 565 feet at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C (2) Iraq and Iran were founding members of OPEC (3) James Dean received two academy awards posthumously