I work for a large multinational company that occasionally goes through layoffs. I’ve been here for seven years but am still the most junior member of my team by decades (people who don’t get laid off stay forever because the benefits are fantastic). Several of my colleagues, who are generally nice people, approach me from time to time to tell me they’re “hearing rumors” about another round of layoffs. This inevitably strikes fear in my heart because, as the most junior team member, I am the most likely to be let go. I find my anxiety growing, and it gets hard to concentrate on my work. I spend part of my days job hunting and being distraught that I won’t find another job as great as this one. I would really like my colleagues to stop spreading these rumors (which have so far not resulted in my being let go, but there’s always next time). How do I politely tell them to knock it off? Or do I just have to learn to tune them out?
—Layoff Rumors Don’t Help