theodp writes "Fortune's Dear Annie takes on the case of poor Dazed and Confused, an independent webmaster who's expected to be on call for his client at all hours of the day and night, but doesn't get paid for being on call, only for the 40 hours a week that he's in the office. Surprisingly, Annie throws cold water on the contractor's dreams of paid OT, citing these pearls of wisdom from an attorney who's apparently never had the 'privilege' of being a techie on call: 'Many companies see the on-call issue as analogous to a fire fighter's job. Most of the time, a fire fighter is off-duty but on call, hanging around the firehouse, cooking, sleeping, or whatever. What that person really gets paid for is the relatively small, but crucial, amount of time he spends walking into a burning building with an ax. A webmaster, likewise, has slow times and busy times.'"
What on call policies are you used to working with and how should it work in an ideal world?