Some people have way too much time on their hands. A visual interpretation of the ‘Work Smarter Not Harder’ meme has been doing the rounds on Reddit, with one person deciding to take the simple picture to task by painstakingly and hilariously deconstructing it while pointing out all of its errors and flaws.

This picture, uploaded on Reddit’s MurderedByWords forum, portrays 6 white, male workers (representation in the workplace, anyone?) metaphorically ‘pushing’ their work, which is represented by cubes.

One guy has it all figured out though. While the others are laboriously shoving their cumbersome cubes, he has ingeniously devised an easier way and is ahead of the pack, happily rolling his sphere.

Simple, right? “He who is creative and thinks things through gets ahead.”

Image credits: L1ghtningdude

This person wasn’t having it though.

“Wait a second. What exactly is the message being conveyed here?” they wrote. “Feel free to sabotage the product for the sake of making your own job easier?”

Working from the invented assumption that these metaphorical workers were delivering a product, what followed was a glorious demonstration of anal-retentiveness, as both the picture and the message were expertly picked apart with powerful pedantry.

Someone illustrated what might be waiting for the smart worker at the end of the day

Image credits: unknown

So what is the point in all of this? Who knows. Perhaps we are living in a dystopian, largely online world where unspoken, interpretive communication like metaphors, satire, sarcasm and irony are slowly dying. A place where subtlety and nuance get quickly lost in a maelstrom of self-important blowhards, judging and shouting and taking things way too literally.

A place where telling a bad joke can easily be taken the wrong way and get you fired from your job.

Or perhaps the joke is on us, and the whole thing is so meta that the pedantic person is themselves satirizing the process of taking things too literally… We will leave it up to you to decide!

Here’s what people had to say about the pedantic poster

What do you think? Are we taking ourselves too seriously these days? Is the internet making us angrier, more opinionated and less able to read between the lines? Is there still a place for metaphors, satire, sarcasm and irony? Let us know in the comments below!