Qualitea with Ms. Diana Musabi, sample receptionist

Joselyn B. Mwine sits down with Diana to chat about her work at the Sample Reception of the UNBS laboratories.

Diana, please share with our readers what you are responsible for in the Laboratory.

Ms. Musabi:

I am responsible for receiving clients and samples presented by them to the laboratory for analysis, advising clients on the relevant standards for their products and how to pay product testing fees for their products. I also advise them on how to monitor the progress of their samples during testing (how far the testing has gone).

What is it like sitting at the Sample Reception?

Ms. Musabi:

It is quite an experience, especially when dealing with a diverse group of clients. Most of the clients do not have the technical knowledge for the products they deliver to the laboratory. This makes the work very demanding and time consuming as it requires a lot of explanation to the client to ensure that they understand their product for testing purposes.

Please walk us through the process of receiving samples at the reception?

Ms. Musabi:

When a client delivers samples at the sample reception, the state at which the samples have been delivered and transported is checked, the relevant standard for the product is identified together with laboratory test capacity for the samples. If the client has not paid for the requested service, then a quotation is given to them for their test requests, together with payment instructions. Thereafter the testing fees are verified on the system and if fees are appropriate for testing then the samples are received and given a unique sample number for identification in the laboratory. The samples are then kept in a temporary storage in preparation for their delivery to the laboratory.

What, if anything, would you wish clients knew before, during and after bringing their samples to the lab?

Ms. Musabi:

  1. They need to know that they can access the product testing fees on the UNBS Website.
  2. They can track the progress of their sample testing by using the UNBS App, downloadable from the app stores and the website.
  3. They also receive e-test reports on their registered emails.

What are the common mistakes/errors that you have observed clients making in bringing samples?

Ms. Musabi:

  1. Clients send third parties to deliver samples without giving them sufficient information regarding their samples.
  2. Forgetting to make payments for their sample testing.
  3. Packaging their products wrongly and this compromises the integrity of their samples. An example of such is transporting water or juice sample in a bottle that has got a leakage.
  4. Transporting their products under wrong temperatures for example (for perishable samples), a client transports ice cream under room temperatures instead of freezing temperatures.
  5. Clients do not know how to identify their samples for example there is a confusion between banana tonto, kombucha and opaque beer.

I can imagine that your office is so demanding. How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

Ms. Musabi:

I relieve stress by exercising and also supplement by doing activities that keep me awake and excite me. I also drink lots of water to hydrate my body.

What are the challenges, if any, do you face at the Sample Reception?

Ms. Musabi:

Most of the time the workload is overwhelming because we are under staffed and we receive samples from a number of places for example private clients, Certification, Market Surveillance, Imports Inspection, Standards and ensure that each of the samples is delivered to the respective laboratories for testing.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work in terms of sports, and other extra-curricular activities?

Ms. Musabi:

Listening to music is one of the things I do enjoy during my free time. In addition to that, I enjoy sports and sometimes watching movies.  Once in a while, I hang out with my friends to discuss developments, our social life and generally to have fun.

What can’t you leave home without?

Ms. Musabi:

My phone and my handbag are part of me now so I have to move with them wherever I go.

What is your preferred drink of choice? Tea, coffee or other?

Ms. Musabi:

I enjoy taking cold natural juice. I also enjoy some white wine especially when I am out with my peers.

What is your guilty pleasure? It can be something, such as a type of food/ dessert, film, television programme, or piece of music that you enjoy despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.

Ms. Musabi:

My pleasure is in watching detective movies and also when it comes to music, I listen to love music.

Thank you so much for your time Diana and we appreciate the work that you do. We wish you well in your work and personal life.