Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
You’re sitting in your local McDonald’s.
It’s, you know, a happy place.
There are large images of happy people on the walls.
And then you notice something. None of these images show any Asians.
Oddly, you’re Filipino American yourself, so you decide to do something about it.
No, you don’t ask McDonald’s nicely. Is that really going to get you anywhere?
Instead, what this enterprising University of Houston student did was create his own poster, turn himself and his friend into McDonald’s models and see if he could get his poster on an empty wall.
Yes, at his local McDonald’s.
You see, Jevh Maravilla may be something of a McDonald’s aficionado.
I found him, for example, among the first 16 people who got hold of the precious — and, personally speaking, quite ordinary — Szechuan sauce in October last year.
“I go there pretty often,” he told me.
But getting your poster up on McDonald’s walls is something else.
The sort of something else that this intrepid student has presented in an engrossing YouTube video.
First, he explains that the lack of representation of Asians in the media is a touch disappointing.
So he and his friend Christian thought they’d take a picture similar to the joyous ones already on the walls.
Next came making the picture look idyllic and then having it printed large via the Office Depot website.
And then, the slight element of subterfuge.
How could they hang the picture without someone wondering who they were?
Our protagonist found a McDonald’s shirt at a local thrift store. A mere $6.48.
So it was that he dressed himself up as Jeff Bergara, Regional Interior Coordinator for McDonald’s.
The fictional Jeff Bergara.
The hanging day was July 13, Maravilla told me.
Still, as the video shows, with a little help from his friends, he got the picture up on the wall and no one seemed to notice.
52 days later, he says it’s still up there.
“My friend just stopped by there an hour ago and it seems pretty silent so no buzz yet,” Maravilla told me.
Naturally, I contacted McDonald’s to ask for its view and will update, should I hear.
Maravilla did, perhaps accidentally, leave a clue in the video, if you want to know which McDonald’s restaurant this actually is.
“Are you a secret agent?” he asked me.
Maravilla’s point is a serious one. It takes more than a movie called Crazy Rich Asians to bring Asian faces into the image spotlight.
Why, though, wait more than 50 days to reveal what you’ve done?
“I wanted people to think it was impressive that it’s been there for so long,” said Maravilla.
Of course it’s always possible that this was all faked, but I want to have faith in the human spirit for at least one day. And if it’s a fake, it’s a very good one.
You might wonder why his video is so well done. He’s studying video production and hopes to go into it after he’s finished school.
I had to ask him one more important question, however: Was it worth standing in line just to get that woeful Szechuan Sauce?
“The line was well worth it,” he told me. I think he may have been kidding.
And so McDonald’s, you crazy rich burger people, an enterprising student may have taught you a little lesson.
I wonder how you’ll respond.