Metro Q&A: Metro distributor Velma Barnharzt

Metro distributor
For a decade, Velma Barnharzt’s smiling face has greeted New Yorkers eager for a fix of morning news. Credit: Bess Adler/Metro

For a decade, Velma Barnharzt’s smiling face has greeted New Yorkers eager for a fix of morning news. One of the newspaper’s longest-serving promoters, the 52-year-old East Harlem resident spoke to Metro about working in the morning and her favorite part of the job.

What’s the trick to giving out Metro papers?
You have to be a people’s person — smile to the commuters.

Do you say anything in particular?
“Good morning — Metro!” and “Have a nice day!” That’s been working.

What’s your favorite part about the job
?I would say the hours. Just being there.

Do you like dealing with morning commuters?

Yes. I love that — that’s why I stayed so long.

Where have you passed out the papers?
I first started off at 86th Street and then I was at 96th Street for 8 years. Now I’m on 110th Street and Lexington Avenue.

Do you have a favorite section of the paper?
I like the whole thing, but the horoscopes are my favorite. … I like the celebrity interviews — they tell it like it is.

How do you think the city has changed in the last 10 years?
Since Obama has been here, I think it’s been a little more pleasant. And the new mayor — he’s trying to do something for us, with the teachers and everything. I think that’s a blessing for the kids.

Why do you think New Yorkers love Metro in the morning?
Metro is more like a daily newspaper, like the New York Times. They have a lot of information there.


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