The folks over at CareerBuilder have obviously read the studies about the positive effects of humor on well-being. Why else would this otherwise serious online job search service conduct surveys eliciting the most ridiculous excuses for not coming to work and the most absurd resume falsehoods?

The latest CareerBuilder survey—asking 3,000-plus respondents which jobs strike fear into them—isn't a knee-slapper, although some of the categories are clearly designed to elicit a giggle or two.

More than an attempt at straight humor, this survey underscores the fact that we all have fears we'd rather not share. We either secretly admire those who have the jobs that strike terror into our hearts, or we assume they are crazy to have taken them.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.