First off, glad to hear you may get a job again. No fun being out of work.
Now to the smoker problem. What model did you get? If it's a Smoke King Deluxe (mirror image of Bandera) did you do the firegrate & baffle mods? Airflow and smoke flow control your chamber temps. Make sure you've got plenty of airflow (and ash room) underneath the firegrate. 2-3 inches makes a big difference.
I'll wait to see your answer before going on...
I didn't hijack the thread. I just took it in a completely different direction.
Spicewine, 2 Dutch Ovens, Weber OTP, 18 " Weber Kettle, White Mountain Ice Cream Freezer, Whirly Pop, Cast Iron Hot Dog cooker, and a 10 year old. Moink.
RIP - my NB Bandera
"Sweet Blue to all" - E