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Lose My Benefits? I'd Rather Go to Jail!

Vincent Besnault | Stone | Getty Images

Many workers used to take their health benefits for granted but cutbacks or outright elimination of care has everyone white-knuckling those benefits – just try to pry our fingers off!

A new survey puts it all in perspective: Most people would rather spend a night in jail than lose their benefits.

A whopping 60 percent said they'd take the night in jail rather than go without, according to the survey from information site Ask.com.

At first that may sound shocking — JAIL?! But after the initial *SMACK!* most people go — "Actually, yeah. I would rather spend a night in jail than lose my benefits, too!" (Read more: You Can Play Golf in Prison—No Felony Required!)

To break that down by gender, 64 percent of men and 56 percent of women chose a night in the slammer over losing benefits. Now, to throw in the family factor: 80 percent of those without children said they'd choose jail, compared to just 70 percent of mommies and daddies.

Wow, 70 percent of parents? How do you explain that one?

"Sorry, Jimmy, Mommy needs to do some hard time so your little sniffle whiffles are covered by health insurance …"

Much has been made about the cool perks you get at tech companies like Yahoo, Facebook or Google but let's just say, no one has offered to spend a night in jail for a free Pop-Tart.

"While it's clear that perks like free massages resonate with Westerners in particular, they pale in comparison to the value all Americans put on benefits like paid life insurance and tuition assistance," said Lisa Ross, vice president of Human Resources at Ask.com.

Among other things the survey found were important to workers were paid time off, telecommuting flexibility and proximity to work. (Read more: The Most Outrageous Excuses for Calling In Sick)

Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said they would be swayed to take a position if it offered unlimited time off, a concept gaining traction with a lot of tech companies like Netflix, Zynga and the creator of this survey, Ask.com. Though, admittedly, most employees (48 percent) were dubious about whether unlimited time off was really unlimited.

Other things people said were appealing, that most of us didn't even know were a thing, are: on-site masseuse, clothing allowance, nap rooms, free dry cleaning, personal shoppers and travel planners for personal vacations.

OK. So, we can all imagine ourselves napping at work (See also, Napping at Your Desk—Now Made Easier!) but is any one of us even remotely prepared for jail? Well, thank your lucky stars for the Internet. Here are six quick tips for surviving jail from Wikihow.com:

1. Ask for a single cell. If you notice an empty one, ask to be put in there. (Hey, I'm not dangerous, I'm only doing it for the health care!)

2. Never show fear. Fear equals weakness and they can smell it a mile away. "If you shiver or shake and cannot stop, pretend you are psychologically unstable," Wikihow advises. "This includes waving your arms and legs around, speaking a lot of gibberish and whispering/yelling to some imaginary person in the room."

3. Don't, under any circumstances, fall asleep in a shared cell. "Sit on the floor with your back to the wall, preferably in a corner," Wikhow says.

4. Keep to yourself. If you are one of those people that talks when you get nervous — DON'T. Though, don't be rude because that will also get you roughed up.

5. Don't accept favors — you'll owe someone. And if you thought owing someone on the outside was awkward, wait until you owe someone in the slammer!

6. Never physically resist or attempt to escape. Dude, someone needs to tell you this —you are not Jason Bourne.

Of course, it's not all bad.

"Prisoners, you see, have the unique opportunity to put family members on 'mute' — a luxury that so-called 'free' people only dream of," Andy Borowitz writes in his book, "Who Moved My Soap? The CEOs Guide to Surviving in Prison."

"If you're going to be locked up for an extended period of time, it's infinitely better to be locked up away from relatives than with them!" Borowitz quips.

Borowitz also advises using proactive language, not reactive language.

So, instead of saying "Please don't hit me with that big thing," you say: "I'mo bust a grape, peckerwood."

And instead of saying, "Could you please put that down?" you say: "I'mo peal your cap, monkey mouth."

I'm sure you'll get the hang of it by morning. But whatever you do, if you drop the soap, for the love of kittens and rainbows, let it go, man!!!


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Contact Pony Blog

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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