I have been keeping a wok in my dorm kitchen for two semesters now and it has been developing beautiful black seasoning -- I evaded disaster once by catching one of them right before taking some steel wool to it. However, six months later, despite making a public announcement to everyone on my floor that they can use it but are not to try cleaning it at all, they've found another way to give me grief about my wok;
My roommate turned on the wrong burner and when we finally figured out what that awful smell was, the black seasoning on top was bubbled and burned beyond recognition. Further inspection caused it to chip off and show shiny new steel underneath.
Do I need to start over? Some of the seasoning was left on the surface, and when I tried to cook something in it (after getting the burned mess off, ugh) the food tasted fine. A little bit of the seasoning is chipping into the food, though.