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Wow, this might be the first cameraphone picture as NY tabloid cover photo in history: The Daily News published a picture of a sleeping token booth clerk today! Reader Denise Davila sent the DN the photograph she took over the weekend at the F train's Prospect Park stop at 15th Street, saying:

It p----- me off seeing him snoozing like that. Is this where the fare hike is going? To support guys snoozing on the job? I couldn't believe it. He was completely passed out and unaware of anything that was going on."

To be fair, the fare hike is going into effect because the MTA has totally mismanaged the entire system - from the NYC subways and buses to LIRR - but we understand the DN's hook. Davila took the picture at 2:30AM, definitely sleepy time, but for graveyard shift employees, especially in subways, you'd like them to be a little bit on the game. The MTA said that the employee had worked the graveyard shift for four years, and the transit workers' union said that the worker could have been resting his head (though Davila claims she waited five minutes). Gothamist did think it was nice of the DN to mention a subway clerk who stopped a robbery to show that these incidents aren't the norm (though Satan's Laundromat did find a napping clerk once upon a time). Expect a lot of furor from riders and politicians and lots of Red Bull from the MTA.

What has your experience with token booth clerks been? Gothamist has to say that we've been lucky, they've been attentive, if a little tight with the subway maps (only one per person). Also, the NY Post tries to advise people on how many rides they need to get out of their new unlimited Metrocards; we can only assume reporter Clemente Lisi (whose subway reporting we do enjoy reading, alongside the NY Times' Sewell Chan and Newsday's Joshua Robin) checked out Grant Barrett's awesome subway fare analysis (here's the PDF) after we posted about it. Gothamist on bothering token booth clerks.