Anyone have any horror stories about jobs that have just gone insanely wrong or been so off kilter that things just don't make sense any more?

I may have only been a professional detailer for a little over a month but I've already found myself in some very difficult situations that I really don't know how I got through it.

Case #1
Got a call from another detailer, that wanted to put me to the test so to speak, for an assist on a difficult job he had coming up. The job turned out to be a VW Golf converted to bio-diesel. Problem with the vehicle was a recovered stolen vehicle in such a state that an auto-body shop it was at was a loss as far as how to clean this vehicle. The owner claimed to have a reaction to almost every modern cleaning chemical so obviously we couldn't use conventional cleaning methods to get the job done. The biggest issue concerning this vehicle was the type of mess that needed cleaning, mold. Nearly the entire interior of the car was covered in mold and grime. So before being called in my fellow big island detailer set up an old school large scale dehumidifier to try and dry it all out so we could actually get in there and clean it. He cashed in on a couple old time cleaning substances that aren't really used any longer aside from special circumstances like this, baking soda and vinegar.

When he informed me of the job and how we'd be going about cleaning it I had my doubts but I'm always willing to learn and try new things. He had already removed the seats and had had the dehumidifier in the car for several days before calling me in. Once I got there and got into the job it became obvious that not only was this going to be a difficult task but that if we didn't get it all actually clean this would become a real health hazard for the owner. I was shocked and impressed at how well something as simple as a baking soda and water solution was able to cut through the layers of grime that had built up over almost every hard interior piece. The steam blaster and extractor pulled all the muck and mold out of the seats before we treated them with vinegar and dried them with the dehumidifier in a separate sealed off area. The carpets received a similar treatment but with a baking soda scrubbing. Little by little with an excessive amount of elbow grease and determination we were able to remove all the gross muck that had built up on all the hard surfaces of the interior.

Total time from when I had arrived at the work space for the detail till the time we called the interior clean was around 7 hours. When we were done it literally felt and smelled like a brand new interior had been installed. After that it was just a matter of a quick exterior wash, clay, and wax before we called the job done for the day. Then we pushed the car back in to its stall, set the dehumidifier, and called it a day. Needless to say that this was by far my most taxing and difficult job to date. I pray that one day I have the skills and know how to be able to accomplish something like that all on my own, but for the time being I'm just grateful that I was a part of such a challenge. It gave me a greater perspective on how far we can actually take what we do, whether it be restoring an old mistreated/abused vehicle or putting the finishing touches on a competition show car. Restoring this golf from the state it was in gave me quite the sense of accomplishment for overcoming such a challenge. Only question I had afterwards was "What's next?"

Subtle Perfection
Hilo, HI