Few things are as pathetically ugly as the middle-aged flunky in an organization.
The young flunky, willing to do the dirty work: I can understand him. He's learning lessons and scoring points so he can advance.
The middle-aged flunky, though, somewhere and sometime he might've lost his nerve and never took his boss' place.
Or maybe he was hired because his boss sensed that the flunky wouldn't push him aside. He would be content under his boss' wing, eating the crumbs from his table.