Are you making a lot of external calls? Give your fingers a (tiny) rest, and eliminate the first digit - the 9 - from your dialing pattern. Effective immediately, you can simply dial 1-847-xxx-xxxx to reach your intended destination, just like you do from your landline at home. In case of an emergency, dial 911. The old dialing patterns (with the 9 prefix) will continue to be active until July 1, 2014.
Added bonus: Missed calls from external sources displayed by your IP phone can now be returned by simply pressing "Dial". No more tinkering with "Edit Dial", arrows, and digits to add.
Background information: Dialing "9" was introduced at D219 many years ago due to the need to differentiate a 7-digit local area call from a 4-digit internal call. Since both could potentially start with a "2" or a "3", it was impossible for the system to know the caller's intent. By requiring a "9" for outside calls, the intent was made obvious. However, a few years back, Skokie became part of an "area code overlay"; this occurred when area code 224 was introduced in the same geographical area as 847. Ever since then, dialing either "1-847" or "1-224" in front of every 7-digit local number was mandatory. As a result, since none of our internal numbers start with "1", we can safely eliminate the "9" prefix and the system will still distinguish between internal calls that start with 2 or 3 and external calls that start with 1.
For any follow-up questions about this article, please contact Sebastian at x3964