The Americas Human Resources team was based in the US. Five team members were Canadians who commuted weekly. At a team meeting, one of the Canadians said that I was travelling but she brought along her Gumby doll who would fill in for me. The joke stuck and the full set of Gumby characters became avatars for the Canadians.
The dolls came in handy as an office attendance system. If a doll was standing up then that person was in the office; if it was lying down then he/she was not.
I remember the Head of Human Resources coming out of his office and asking someone if one of the Canadians was in the office. The person silently pointed to the lying down character and the leader said, “Right, I forgot, thanks.” Project teams create their own language to make sense of their hectic schedules.